KC Stadium, 3pm KO
Reading went into last weekend’s FA Cup third round tie against Stevenage hoping to get a confidence-boosting victory over a side struggling in the lower reaches of League Two. 90 minutes of dull football and a host of controversies later and the situation and toxic atmosphere around the club threaten to get even worse.
Heading to the KC, Reading sit just four points clear of the relegation zone and six points off the foot of the table, winless in six. What do you mean you’re not looking forward to this game?
Form (league): LLDDL
If we as Reading fans feel frustrated by our current form, I don’t know how Hull fans are feeling. The Nigel Adkins ‘positivity era’ at the KC hasn’t gotten off to the greatest of starts, with the Tigers having won just one of their last 13 games in the league.
The hosts will be without defensive duo Ondrej Mazuch and Stephen Kingsley for this encounter, so Michael Hector is in line to face his former club as he looks set to start in the heart of the defence. Abel Hernandez is also sidelined, so Nouha Dicko will be the man tasked with leading the Hull attack. Ryan Mason is the only other injury concern for the hosts.
Form (league): LLLDL
The Reading form guide makes for grim viewing. After picking up just a single point from games against fellow strugglers Burton, Birmingham and Barnsley, Hull fans will be rubbing their hands with glee as they welcome Jaap Stam’s side to the KC Stadium on Saturday.
Stam faces several key selection dilemmas going into this game, with Omar Richards and Tiago Ilori both pushing for starts after fairly solid displays in the FA Cup against Stevenage. Paul McShane will be lucky to start against his former club after a string of dire performances, but the good news is that Liam Moore should be back from his “small knock”. The bad news is that this could be the last time we see the centre-half, who seems destined to depart in the coming weeks.
Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Yann Kermorgant are both failing to inspire up top, but with Sam Smith injured and no other options available, it’s anyone’s guess who will start up top. Jaap Stam hinted that Danny Loader could be involved at some point this season, but I wouldn’t be holding your breath if you’re hoping for him to start here.
Hull City: 16
Past Five Meetings
27 August 2011: Hull City 1-0 Reading (EFL Championship)
21 January 2012: Reading 0-1 Hull City (EFL Championship)
16 December 2015: Hull City 2-1 Reading (EFL Championship)
19 April 2016: Reading 1-2 Hull City (EFL Championship)
23 September 2017: Reading 1-1 Hull City (EFL Championship)
How can I follow the game?
There will be audio coverage of the game on BBC Berkshire at 104.4FM, whilst Reading fans abroad can watch the match on iFollow. Highlights will be broadcast on Channel 5’s ‘Football On 5’.
Things seem to be turning from bad to worse at Reading at the moment and I don’t project things will take a turn for the better here. The Royals are winless in seven in all competitions and have looked sloppy at the back in recent weeks.
But perhaps our biggest problem remains our lack of attacking impetus, with the poor form of Yann Kermorgant and Sone Aluko cause for concern. Match our lack of threat going forward with the fact that Hull are the league’s joint-fifth top scorers, this could be a long afternoon. 2-0.