Happy New Year! We kick off 2020 by turning our Focus to this afternoons visit of our past playoff nemesis, Reading Football Club. The Royals have won their last 3 on the trot and haven’t conceded a goal in their last 4. Meanwhile, Fulham also kept a long awaited clean sheet of their own, signing off the decade with a 1-0 win over Stoke City.
With WBA and Leeds facing each other today, this has to be three points for Scott Parker and his team. The gap is guaranteed to close on the top two if we win and it’s an opportunity we have to take if we have any outside chance of a push for the automatics…
Head To Head
- Fulham wins 22 | Draws 16 | Reading wins 18.
- Reading have won just once from their last 7 trips to the Cottage.
- Our last defeat to the Royals was the second leg of the playoffs in 2017.
- There has been either a red card or a penalty awarded in the last 8 meetings with Reading.
- That pattern extends to 11 of the 17 fixtures between the clubs in the new millennium.
- Fulham have scored in 8 of the last 10 against Reading.
Reading in 2019/20
- League Position: 14th
- League Form: WWWDD
- Average Possession: 47.8%
- Top Scorers: George Puscas (7), Yakou Meite (6)
- Clean sheets: 8
- Discipline: 37 Yellows | 1 Red
- Form Table (Last 6 Matches): 2nd (11 pts)
- They haven’t conceded a goal in their last 4 matches
- Both teams have scored in 12 of their 25 League games
Players in Common
Fulham: 54 apps, 9 goals (2016-2017)
Reading: 60 apps, 4 goals (2017-present)
Sone Aluko, Chris Baird, Wayne Bridge, Paul Brooker, Terry Bullivant, Mike Conroy, Maurice Cook, Danny Guthrie, Marcus Hahnemann, Jeff Hopkins, Ray Houghton, Terry Hurlock, Stephen Kelly, Zat Knight, Lucas Piazon, Chris Martin, Paul Moody, Oliver Norwood, Peter O’Sullivan, Frank Parsons, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Liam Rosenior, Orlando Sa, John Salako, Seol Ki-Hyeon, Nicky Shorey, Steven Sidwell, Neil Smith & Tony Thorpe.
Sam’s View (@SamCole2468)
After ending a rather frustrating year on a high with our win against Reading hopefully we can take that winning mentality into our next game against Reading. With the January transfer window opening on the day of our game, a lot of the players will feel like they need to step up to either earn a move or to prove they are worth keeping around. If you look at our run of fixtures, this is one of the tougher games however if we are serious about promotion this year, we have to get a win against this in-form Reading side.
With doubts over the fitness of both Mawson and Onomah it is unlikely either will play so I think Odoi and Johansen should come in to replace them. I think Odoi reigniting his partnership at centre back with Ream could work well with Ream looking more comfortable next to him rather than Mawson against Stoke. Other than that, I would make no changes to our team that played Stoke other than wanting Kamara to make an appearance off the bench on the back of signing his new contract. We should maintain our 4-3-3 formation with in-form Decordova-Reid on the left and Knockaert on the right.
There is no doubt that Reading will provide a stern test for our boys however I think a win here could be the catalyst that we need to chase those automatic places. I think we will win 2-1 with Mitro and Knockaert scoring.