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Reading vs Birmingham City: Match Preview 2022/23

Can the Royals secure a much-needed win?

Swansea City v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Reading will be desperate to secure three points in this Good Friday clash as they face Birmingham City.

Returning to the Select Car Leasing Stadium, many supporters will be optimistic but with the Royals’ home form worsening recently, this may not be an easy game for the hosts who now have to contend with their six-point deduction. Their opponents, on the other hand, are all but safe following an excellent win against Blackburn Rovers last weekend. This will come as a relief to John Eustace who will be desperate to lead his current side into the next campaign.

Can the home team take advantage of the fact Birmingham don’t need to win this game as much as they do? We’ll have to wait and see.

For now, here are some facts and thoughts ahead of kick-off.

What? Championship Matchday 40

Season? 2022/23

Who? Birmingham City

Where? Select Car Leasing Stadium

When? Friday 7th April

Time? 3pm

Opposition Manager? John Eustace

Pre-Match Thoughts


We all knew the deduction was coming, so Tuesday’s news was slightly easier to take. However, it’s still gutting because that puts us right back into relegation danger at a crucial time.

Whether we sink or swim is down to us - but the Mark Bowen open letter and players’ video is a good start. Now it’s time to back up those words with action. You just feel these seven games could be crucial for the future of the football club.

However, I do think we’ll enjoy a reasonably successful summer window regardless of which league we find ourselves in next season. We’ll be in a weaker negotiating position in League One - but with the likes of Brian Carey and Jared Dublin behind the scenes - we could still recruit some decent young players.

I just can’t believe we’re talking about the third tier considering we were one game away from the Premier League when Dai Yongge took over. The club may not have been the same since Anton Zingarevich took over, but we’ve declined quite rapidly under Mr Dai and that’s a massive shame.

Birmingham City:

From one club’s board that’s disconnected from the supporters to another, Birmingham have struggled under BSHL and are in desperate need of new owners.

The potential is there, with the likes of Jordan James, Jobe Bellingham and George Hall looking as though they will be big stars in the future - but the board is holding them back.

They have utilised the loan market quite heavily in recent seasons and that has prevented them from building for the long term, with the summer departures of current loanees Krystian Bielik, Hannibal Mejbri, Auston Trusty, Dion Sanderson and others meaning they will need to be extremely busy during the next window.

Eustace has done a reasonably good job but until there are a fresh set of faces in the boardroom, it would be difficult to see them returning to the Premier League anytime soon.

The Last Meeting

Birmingham City 3-2 Reading

My Lineup

Starting XI: Lumley; Guinness-Walker, Sarr, Holmes, Mbengue, Yiadom; Fornah, Casadei, Hendrick; Azeez; Joao

I haven’t changed my lineup from last weekend, with Yakou Meite a doubt for this clash.

If he was fit, I wouldn’t be against us going with a 4-3-3 setup with Femi Azeez and Meite on the wings.

But a back five should allow the likes of Nesta Guinness-Walker and Andy Yiadom to get forward, with the duo able to be game-changers for us when they’re on top form. The former could be especially dangerous out wide - but he needs to be given the freedom to venture forward.

In midfield, Tyrese Fornah, Cesare Casadei and Jeff Hendrick start again, but it’s a shame that Mamadou Loum won’t be an option. He didn’t do too badly against Blackburn before his dismissal.

Score Prediction: Reading 2-1 Birmingham City


Here are my predictions for the Good Friday fixtures:

Millwall 1-1 Luton Town

Rotherham United 0-2 West Bromwich Albion

Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Norwich City

Blackpool 0-1 Cardiff City

Queens Park Rangers 0-2 Preston North End

Sheffield United 2-0 Wigan Athletic

Stoke City 3-1 Bristol City

Swansea City 2-1 Coventry City

Watford 0-1 Huddersfield Town

Sunderland 2-1 Hull City

Middlesbrough 1-3 Burnley