For the second time in as many games, the Royals face a relegation six-pointer, this time against bottom of the league Ipswich Town. The Tractor Boys come into the game on the back of three consecutive 1-1 draws and will be hoping to continue this little upturn in form. The three matches previous to this decent form resulted in three defeats, so Ipswich fans have reason to be positive about their recent results.
Paul Lambert’s side like to get the ball wide and try to create chances from there. 43% of their play so far this campaign has come down the right-hand side, meaning that whoever is playing left-back for the Royals could be in for a busy afternoon on Saturday.
Ironically though, one of the Tractor Boys' main weaknesses is defending against attacks down the flanks and this is something Reading could use against The Tractor Boys at Portman Road.
Lambert started with young wing-backs Myles Kenlock (22) and James Bree (21) in their last fixture and their relative inexperience is something that the Royals could possibly profit from. If players like Mo Barrow, Callum Harriott or Garath McCleary can use this potential weakness effectively, we could create some chances for frontman Nelson Oliveira.
The Tractor Boys' discipline has been an issue for them this season, especially when it comes to committing fouls in dangerous areas. 25% of the goals that Lambert’s side have conceded this season have come from set-pieces during this campaign, and José Gomes will be hoping his set-piece takers will be able to deliver and cause a threat for the Ipswich back-line.
Matt Miazga has added a real aerial threat into the Royals side since his arrival in January and he’ll be hoping to grab his first goal in a Reading shirt at Portman Road in a massive game for the future of the club.
I am going to go with a tight 2-1 win for the Royals. It will be a very nervy game from start to finish, but I think that the Royals have enough quality to see off Ipswich and create some breathing room between them and the bottom three.
Last week’s disappointing draw against Rotherham was a real kick in the teeth for players and supporters alike, so hopefully the travelling Royals can back the boys and, fingers crossed, Gomes’ side will respond and put on a performance for the fans.