Hull City are the next team to stand in Reading FC’s way as they look to increase the gap between themselves and the bottom three.
Former Royals boss Nigel Adkins is in charge of the Tigers and he will be hoping to get one over his former employers and potentially boost his own side’s play-off hopes. They currently sit 12th in the table, however only six points separate themselves and the top six, so the play-offs aren’t totally out of the question.
Jarrod Bowen has been by far Hull’s stand-out player so far this campaign, with 25 goal contributions to his name (21 goals and 4 assists). The wide midfielder is very keen on attacking his full-back and taking them on, but also likes to occasionally cut back in on his stronger left-foot and have a shot from range.
A whopping 19 of his goals this season have come from the right-midfield position and Royals full-back Tyler Blackett will be in for a long afternoon trying to contain the young Englishman. A weakness of Bowen’s is holding onto the ball, so if the aforementioned Blackett can pressurise him and not give him much time on the ball, Reading could limit how dangerous Bowen is.
Keeping hold of the ball has been a real struggle for the Tigers this season. They have an average possession of 46.8%, compared to the Royals’ 50.8%, and if the visitors can make use of the ball, they may be able to get something from this fixture. As mentioned about Jarrod Bowen, if their creative players are allowed too much time on the ball, they will be dangerous, but if we can control the ball and put pressure on them when they have it, they won’t be able to play their normal game.
However, if allowed to play how they wish, they will punish us on Saturday. They average 10.7 shots per game, and have scored 56 goals this season. That shows how clinical they are with their finishing. To put this into context, the Royals average 11.3 shots per game but have only scored 42 goals this campaign. We simply cannot allow them to have too many chances otherwise the game will be out of sight before half-time.
Now for my prediction. I think it will be 2-1 to Hull on Saturday. They are on a decent run of form lately and, in my opinion, it will continue this weekend against the Royals.