Happy Easter everyone! Welcome back to the Mad Stad after an extended break to welcome a new era at Reading FC. Jaap Stam’s tenure at Reading came to an end with the club appointing Paul Clement swiftly after. The Manchester United legend mutually terminated his contract after being unable to turn the team’s fortunes around. His replacement Paul Clement enters the club sitting in 20th place having not won a home game in 2018. Can he reignite the winning spirit from the get go or will QPR add more woe to our season?
Form (all competitions): LDDLL
It will be interesting to see how Clement sets up his team with him already telling the press he knows his side. He inherits an injury plagued squad with Jon Dadi Bödvarrson, Paul McShane, Tommy Elphick, Omar Richards, Joseph Mendes and Stephen Quinn all unavailable. Chris Martin will be assessed before the game to lead the line for the Royals.
So, it is fair to say he isn’t spoiled for choice for his selection on arrival to the club. The fans will be hoping for a swift change in fortune after the departure of Stam last week after what has been a dreadful season. Stam was an important figure in Reading’s success last year and commanded respect in the dressing room. But on the pitch the team completely collapsed and now hang on to the league by a thread.
The game against QPR hopefully acts as a clean slate to rebuild from which can be expanded upon in the summer.
Top goalscorer: Jon Dadi Bödvarsson: 10
Form (all competitions): LDWWD
The London side are safely away from the drama sitting 14 points away from the relegation zone. They welcome back Idrissa Sylla back from injury after a long absence - the striker has been unavailable for Rangers since December. Former Royal Jamie Mackie is not fit enough to make the team for the journey to Reading.
Apart from that, QPR almost have a fully fit squad for Friday’s game. With the season almost at a close they realistically have nothing to play for apart from building momentum for next season. Ian Holloway will not take this game lightly however to secure his future at the club. The club have high expectations to be back in the top six in the fastest time possible after a lackluster campaign this year.
Top goalscorer: Matt Smith 8
What do the stats say?
- Reading haven’t beaten QPR at home since 2010 when Brian McDermott was in charge.
- Paul Clement returns to management in the Championship since February 2016 managing Derby County. He has an impressive record with 13 wins from 30 games with only five losses.
- QPR have kept two clean sheets in their last 29 away league matches.
- Reading have been winless at home for the entirety of 2018.
How can I follow the game?
Audio coverage is on BBC Radio Berkshire at 104.4, but not available online. Coverage is also available on the EFL iFollow service but no video coverage will be streaming the game. Full match highlights will be available on the app after the game
Reading Football Club will post highlights of the game on their respected social media pages and YouTube channel
Reading 2-1 QPR