The Royals kick off the new year with the visit of mid-table side Swansea City. Mixed results have seen the recently relegated Swans fall below their high expectations, whereas Reading on the other hand will be looking to pick up their first win under Jose Gomes.
The last five
Liam Moore missed Saturday’s game at Loftus Road due to aggravating a calf injury that he had previously picked up, and is now a doubt for this game. Fringe players such as Callum Harriott and David Meyler will be pushing for a start to impress the new manager, but Leandro Bacuna and Tyler Blackett are suspended for two more games after their red cards against Milwall on Boxing Day.
The first two games under Jose Gomes have seen flashes of great potential. A solid performance defensively against QPR, while creating several attacking chances, has provided some much-needed positivity for the club. They will be hoping to kick off the new year with a win to get themselves out of the relegation zone.
Leroy Fer and Martin Olsson continue to recover from their long-term injuries, with the latter definitely ruled out for the rest of the season with a ruptured achilles. However, there is some good news for the Swans. Wilfred Bony is continuing to get back to full fitness after featuring in the last few games for the Welsh side. He will be looking to make an impact in this match to get his 2019 off to a good start.
Swansea were staring down the barrel of a third consecutive defeat against Wigan Athletic until their comeback from 2-0, with the help of an own goal and a strike from Mike Van Der Hoorn. They will be hoping to continue this momentum as they look to beat the Royals. Graham Potter needs to steady the ship before the fall even further down the table.
27th October 2018: Swansea 2 – 0 Reading
19th September 2017: Reading 0 – 2 Swansea
26th December 2012: Reading 0 – 0 Swansea
6th October 2012: Swansea 2 – 2 Reading
30th May 2011: Reading 2 – 4 Swansea
You have to say that that the most memorable game out of these last five meetings between the two sides came in May 2011. The playoff final had everything: two penalties, six goals and a great atmosphere. Part of me thought it would take years to recover from that loss - before we went on and gained automatic promotion the following season.
Pavel Pogrebnyak and Noel Hunt put the Royals 2-0 up against Swansea in October 2012 before a late comeback by the Swans at the Liberty Stadium. This was in a Premier League game where Reading were looking to pick up a vital first win in that campaign.
A more recent meeting saw Paul Clement revisit Swansea as Reading manager. Two Oli McBurnie goals consigned the Royals to another defeat that day, and they will be looking for redemption on New Year’s Day.
- Reading have failed to win any of their last ten games against Swansea in all competitive games. Their last win over the Welsh side came over a decade ago on 27th September 2008.
- Reading have had an average of 62.5% possession over their first two games under Jose Gomes (via BBC Sport).
- Swansea have managed to score in 11 out of their last twelve games. A 1-0 home defeat to Aston Villa tarnished that almost-perfect record.
- However, the Swans have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight league games.
I like to think that I am a level-headed supporter! Even though I’m trying to not get carried away, and many of our good performances have been followed up by equally poor ones, I have hope for the Royals in this game.
Swansea’s form under Graham Potter has been varied this season. Without a win in their last three, the Swans may be short of confidence going in to this away match at the Madejski Stadium. In Jose Manuel Gomes’ first game at home, he will be hoping to put on a show in front of the Reading supporters.
This is why I will go for a slender 2-1 home win in this tie, let’s hope this is the score line on New Year’s Day!
Reading 2-1 Swansea