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Norwich City vs Reading FC: Match Preview

The Royals will face one of their toughest games of the season at Carrow Road.

Leeds United v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

After a disappointing defeat at the KCOM Stadium against Hull City on the weekend, Reading sit just one point above the relegation zone going in to Wednesday’s fixture against top of the table Norwich City. With the Canaries in great form, Royals fans will have little optimism of getting a result in East Anglia.

Reading have not been in a bad vein of form themselves, but they do need to start picking up a few more points if they are to survive this season, after nearly being relegated in the last campaign.

The last five

Norwich City: WWWWW

Striker Carlton Morris has returned to training and recently played in an under 23s match to get back up to speed. Daniel Farke has no other injury concerns, which will be vital in the Championship promotion run in. However, Emiliano Buendia is suspended after his sending off against QPR at the weekend.

The last time that Norwich City dropped points in the league was in their 3-1 away defeat at Preston North End in the middle of February. They currently sit eight points clear of Leeds United in third place. Additionally, they have the best attacking record in the league, scoring 82 goals in the league so far this season.

Reading: WLDWL

Nelson Oliveira made a start last Saturday against Hull City after a remarkable recovery from his hamstring injury, but he is ineligible for the midweek game against his parent club. Yakou Meite is likely to start up top for the Royals in his absence. Paul McShane and John Swift were both ruled out of Saturday’s games with injuries, so will be looking to get back in the squad for this game.

After their win against Preston North End, Reading were four points clear of the relegation zone and on the right track to survive. However, their loss against Hull has put them right back in trouble, with the Royals being just one point above 22nd placed Rotherham United going in to tonight’s fixture. The Millers face Aston Villa at home at the same time, and could go above Reading with a win if the Berkshire side drop points against Norwich City, which is likely.

Previous Meetings

19/9/2018: Reading 1-2 Norwich City

17/3/2018: Norwich City 3-2 Reading

30/9/2017: Reading 1-2 Norwich City

8/4/2017: Norwich City 7-1 Reading

26/12/2016: Reading 3-1 Norwich City

It’s been a miserable past four meetings with Norwich City for the Royals, including *that* 7-1 defeat at Carrow Road towards the end of the successful 2016/17 season.

The last fixture between the two sides was a frustrating one for the home team at the Madejski Stadium. Jon Dadi Bodvarsson had put Reading on course for a draw until the Canaries’ substitute Mario Vrancic put Norwich back in to the lead only a minute later after the equaliser.

The loss at Carrow Road in March 2017 proved to be Jaap Stam’s last game, with goals from academy graduates Liam Kelly and Sam Smith not being enough for the Royals to avoid defeat that day. A Boxing Day 2016 win at the Madejski Stadium was the last time that Reading came out victorious against Norwich City.

Quick-Fire Stats

  • Norwich have won their last eight consecutive games, whilst only suffering one defeat in the league in 2019.
  • The Canaries have also won 70% (14/20) home league games this season.
  • Reading have picked up 10 points from a possible 18 in their last six games, winning 3 of those.
  • In 2019, Reading have gained 20 points from a total of 15 games this calendar year.

Prediction

I wish I could be optimistic about this fixture but I can’t see Norwich dropping points in this game. The Norfolk-based side are in scintillating form at this present time. They are favourites for promotion, with former Reading transfer target Teemu Pukki contributing over 20 goals to the side this season. Whilst Norwich do have a couple of tricky away games against Stoke City and Aston Villa in the remainder of this campaign, they are in a great position for potential promotion to the Premier League.

Reading have shown promising signs in recent performances but this game will be a bridge too far for them. It might be a game of damage limitation for the Royals, with fellow relegation rivals Rotherham United in a much worse position in terms of goal difference at this moment in time.

Norwich City 2-0 Reading