Birmingham City - Gabriel Sutton
I suspect a lot of Royals fans identify with what I’ve said about my own club. I feel you’ve got a better squad than us on paper, but similar structural issues. If Lucas Joao stays fit for a full season, then I guess you’re in with a shot. 23rd.
Blackburn Rovers - Mike Delap
I did bear witness to your struggles last term and I’ll be honest, considered you fortunate to survive the drop. I’ll assume things go better for you this time around given a few shrewd looking signings have been made and a familiar face has returned... 14th.
Blackpool - Up The Mighty Pool
Reading is always the trickiest team to predict where they’ll finish and could honestly be anywhere, but with Paul Ince I have to say it will definitely end in tears. When he gets sacked, the next manager will keep you up - that’s my expectation!
Bristol City - The Exiled Robin
You may not invite me back after this but I’m sorry to say I don’t hold out much hope for you. I’m not a fan at all of Paul Ince as a manager, you’ve lost some really good, key players and I’ve got you as one of my bottom three favourites. Hope it’s not the case as it’s always good to have the short trip up the M4 to the Madejski Stadium.
Burnley - No Nay Never
I think the priority for Ince and his team will be to try and avoid being pulled into another relegation battle, so a good start will be imperative. He’s brought plenty of new faces in, so we’ll have to see how it plays out when the friendlies are done and the real competitiveness of the Championship begins.
It’s a long, hard season and the key to doing ‘well’ or even better than that seems to be to always be ticking over putting points on the board and not fall into a losing run. I’m not expecting miracles overnight for you, so I’ll go with anywhere between 12th and 17th for you as a finishing spot, hopefully with stability on and off the pitch for a full season. All the best, except when we play you!
Cardiff City - Daniel Lewis
You’ve made a couple of half-decent signings on the back of a poor campaign last time out, but will that be enough to improve greatly? I think it will come down to those first few games, though ultimately I think you’ll once again be involved in a relegation scrap. 21st.
Coventry City - Dominic Jerams
Reading look to be in a really dicey situation this year to me. A lot of key players have gone out of the door and there isn’t a great deal of pedigree coming in. Additionally, I really don’t rate Paul Ince as a manager. Staying up would be a huge achievement for Reading in the circumstances this season.
Huddersfield Town - Brady Frost
I’m concerned for Reading. Last season was very poor and you’ve lost great players in John Swift and Josh Laurent. I also question Paul Ince’s ability as a manager even with the upturn he brought in results towards of the end of the season just gone. Add the off-the-pitch concerns such as last season’s points deduction, it feels like a recipe for trouble. I’ve predicted Reading to be relegated this season but for your fans’ sake, I hope I’m wrong.
Hull City - The Likes Of Hull
I can’t say I know a ton. You seem a bit like us pre-ownership change and like you’d take new owners and staying up. Not sure about Ince, and you’ve been careful in who you have brought in. I like Reading, I always want us to learn from you in the area outside the ground before the game which is ace, great food, beers and the lunchtime game on. Plus your fans are nice people. I’ll say 16th.
Luton Town - Matt Storey
Badly – I’m going to go for 23rd. I’m sorry, Paul Ince just inspires me with no confidence whatsoever in the dugout. An already lacking squad has not exactly been strengthened greatly by the signings either.
Happy to be proven wrong and to eat humble pie come next May, I just think both you and Birmingham will go this time around.
Middlesbrough - Dana Malt
I will throw a disclaimer in here by saying I thought you’d finish mid-table last season, so I might be able to get away with saying I have you in the bottom three this campaign. I actually think your business so far this summer has been decent all things considered, but having said that, you have taken a big hit on quality as was probably expected. You have a good front line though, which could be very important. Close to safe, but not quite. 22nd for me.
Millwall - Lucas Ball
I really didn’t like the appointment of Paul Ince but some other changes in recruitment and the return of Mark Bowen have given me slightly more hope for Reading than previously. Recruitment has been slightly better than I expected but I still see this being a season of real struggle for Reading, particularly if Lucas Joao picks up as many injuries as he has done previously.
Unfortunately, I think you’ll be right in the relegation dogfight with the likes of Birmingham, Rotherham, Wigan and potentially Blackpool despite their 2021/22 promise at this level.
Norwich City - Connor Southwell
Contrary to popular opinion, I actually think some of Reading’s recruitment has been quite smart. That said, John Swift, Andy Rinomhota and Josh Laurent will all be big losses for the side. My only real criticism is the combined age of the new recruits, but experience may offer a steadiness that the club has lacked in recent seasons.
My major concern would be over the manager and whether Paul Ince can coach this team into a steady Championship club. That is quite tough for me to think into reality, therefore I’m expecting another tough campaign for Reading.
Shane Long is an excellent player and will score goals. I think you will beat the drop. 19th.
Preston North End - Deepdale Digest
It’s sadly hard to see Reading faring well given the quality of players lost and the ongoing transfer restrictions. I’d have to predict a relegation battle but this is said about Reading every year and they keep proving the doubters wrong!
QPR - Loft For Words
Not well. I just don’t think you can be as badly financially mismanaged as Reading have been by their owners, for as long as you have been, without it eventually catching up with you. We saw it at Derby, and Sheff Wed, and I think Reading and Birmingham are the next two cabs on that rank. But, hey, I predicted Huddersfield to go down last season and they were only a Jon Moss beer shit away from the Premier League in the end so you should see this prediction as a good thing.
Rotherham United - New York Talk
Had it not been for two terrible teams and Derby’s points deduction Reading would have been in much more trouble last season, and I haven’t been impressed with the early transfer business and the same for Paul Ince. I think Reading will be in the fight for the bottom three and as things stand now I don’t think they will have enough to stay up. I will predict 23rd.
Sheffield United - Chris Davis Smith
I know Reading finished quite well under Paul Ince last season and I vividly remember their 2-1 victory at Bramall Lane in April, which was an efficient counter-attacking display. This season the Royals will be looking to kick on, but I fear the loss of John Swift could be huge. He’s a player I would’ve loved Sheffield United to sign, but West Brom were able to pip us to his signature.
On the flip side, the return of Shane Long could be massive for Reading; he’s proven at Championship level and is more than capable of netting the goals needed to keep the Royals up. Ultimately though, I think Reading will be in another battle to stay up this season and I’m not sure if the Royals will have enough quality to retain their Championship status. I’ll go with a prediction of 22nd.
Stoke City - Ben Rowley
It doesn’t look good at the time of writing, with much work needed to be done to replace the numbers and quality that have departed. However, I think there are some teams in significant trouble this season and Reading may well survive once again. Lucas Joao (or a suitable replacement) could be crucial, however I do expect Paul Ince’s successor to arrive before the end of the season in time to just about keep you guys up. 20th.
Swansea City - Declan Terry
I’m not overly optimistic for Reading this season to be honest. Obviously they’re fighting with one hand tied behind their back with transfers and of course another summer has passed where some of the better calibre of players have departed, namely John Swift. It’s going to be tough for Reading and I can see a relegation battle on the cards. 20th.
Watford - The Voices of The Vic
I was kind of hoping you wouldn’t ask me this, as unfortunately I’ve got you boys for the drop. It was evident that you struggled last season, although you pulled a few results out towards the end of the season, but I think yourselves and Birmingham were lucky there were two worse teams than you and a team who had a whopping points deductions slapped on them.
It must be exciting for you guys to have re-signed Shane Long after he ripped it up for you guys way back when. But that’s the key bit: “way back”. Albeit he didn’t play much for them but he had a rather uninspiring loan spell in the Championship at Bournemouth a couple of seasons ago. Jeff Hendrick could be decent but again, he’s hardly a spring chicken. I also got the impression that Dele-Bashiru was quite the player for you guys last season and well… we know what’s happened to him.
With all that said, I now look forward to the spankings at the hands of you boys, Shane Long and Jeff Hendrick running the show in both games.
West Bromwich Albion - The Baggies Podcast
I reckon Reading will survive again, maybe finishing 21st. But it’s nice to see you getting some better structure being put in regarding recruitment and scouting.