Often Partisan

A Royally Dead Rubber? Reading Preview

Tomorrow sees the final game of the league campaign proper and it’s Champions Reading who will be entertained at St Andrews. Blues will be looking for a win to try to secure 4th spot but will have a tough game against a team that has forgotten how to lose.

Reading FC

There is no surprise Reading are champions really as their stats over the second half of the season have been nothing short of immense. The Royals have lost once since January 21 and only three times in the league this year. It’s been eighteen games since they’ve failed to score and they’ve won fifteen of those, taking a monstrous 47 points out of a possible 54 – a minimum four more points than any of the bottom three will get this season.

Alex Pearce will have his own personal milestone if he plays the full 90 tomorrow, as it will mean he will have played every single minute of every single Championship game for Reading this season. Adam Federici will also join him in this feat if he completes the game, but you have to say for an outfield player that will be a great achievement.

Blues

It’s decision time for Chris Hughton as he has to decide if he needs to rest players or keep the team together. Keith Fahey, Stephen Carr, Jonathan Spector, Boaz Myhill and Steven Caldwell are all out; Guirane N’Daw is possibly back but may not be risked as Blues will have one eye on the playoffs. The manager also has to decide if he’s going to rest any key players like Chris Burke and/or Marlon King but the suspicion here from me is that he won’t. I think Erik Huseklepp will be dropped; reports say he was poor against Brighton and he’s been away from training this week attending the birth of his first child.

As much as I’d like Blues to finish fourth I don’t believe this result is important; what is important is the performance and coming away from the game with no injuries. As long as Blues give a good account of themselves and keep their morale up for the playoffs and we don’t lose anyone key before the big post-season games, I’ll be happy.

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4 Responses to “A Royally Dead Rubber? Reading Preview”

  • Matt says:

    Agreed. It’s about playing this one smart. We have to play home and away whatever the circumstances. Either way we have to try to build a lead and protect it no matter what we do tomorrow. I think momentum is important but preserving the squad injury list is moreso. We can’t allow ourselves to go to Wembley with a reserve string because of injuries sustained tomorrow.

  • pierre says:

    will he give packwood a start,maybe in midfield,perhaps rest fahey?.

  • AR says:

    I wonder if we might even see Folan on the bench? I have not been impressed with Huseklepp & though he & Rooney try hard, maybe Folan could show if he could offer anything more.

  • alexjhurley says:

    agreed – the “benefits” of coming 4th are debatable. the play-offs have to be the focus now. Tomorrow is a pre season friendly at the end of the season !

    If the p/o semi goes to pens I think we are better off if it’s away, there is far less pressure on the players (if anyone can be bothered to look up the stats on that it would be interesting).

    Tomorrow should be a celebration of a truly memorable season. I can’t remember a Blues side that has had a higher level of both flair and application. This group of players have been doubly outstanding because of the number of games and hasty way in which they were put together.

    IN CH WE TRUST !

    KRO, SOTV & SYAW (see you at wembley)


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