Contain your excitement guys, Reading will return to Championship action with the thrilling game of... Stoke City away. It’s been a particularly dull fixture in recent years, ending in a tedious 0-0 on the last three occasions. Given how long we’ve been without proper matchdays though, especially ones on the road, this match will be the perfect time to change that record of drabness.
Our return to the Madejski Stadium though comes with the visit of Preston North End. It’s reminiscent of the 2016/17 season, when the Royals’ first home opponents were the same team (albeit a week earlier). We’ll be hoping for a repeat of the result (1-0 win) and a similarly impressive campaign.
Other highlights include a Boxing Day trip to Peterborough United, with the nearest home fixtures to Reading’s 150th anniversary being Luton Town (December 18) and Fulham (December 29). The Royals host Derby County on New Year’s Day, although complications with the EFL mean that match could in fact be against Wycombe Wanderers.
After Easter fixtures at Sheffield United (Good Friday, April 15) and at home to Swansea City (Easter Monday, April 18), Reading wrap up the season with games at home to West Bromwich Albion (April 30) and away to Luton Town (May 7).
You can see the full fixture list here:
It feels a little strange to have a normal fixture release day. Reading fans were only present for three matches last season: Nottingham Forest, Norwich City and Birmingham City, all at home. Although the situation is still up in the air somewhat, we can still look forward to relatively normal matchdays (home and away) throughout next season, which will hopefully not be affected by enforced changes in capacity or anything else.
That normality is something we’ve gone without for far too long. As good as it’s been to have regular games to follow from a distance through incredibly challenging times, getting back to enjoying football in the flesh is what so many of us crave.
There’s also the matter of Reading’s first League Cup opponents. The draw for that will take place later today, and the game itself will come between the Royals’ first two Championship matches.