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Match Previews

READING PREVIEW

15 October 2021

Everything you need to know about our clash with the Royals this weekend!

The Reds will be hoping to leave this two-week break in better spirits than which they entered it, having lost their last three Sky Bet Championship fixtures to drop into the relegation zone

It has been a very trying start to the 21/22 campaign, only amplified by those defeats against Blackpool, Nottingham Forest and Millwall. All three clubs were suffering similarly to Barnsley, but all three took maximum points against a Reds side looking bereft of both confidence and ideas. 

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So the October international break quite possibly arrived in good time for Head Coach, Markus Schopp and his staff as they looked to try and arrest the club's slide down the league table. 

Whilst it was hoped that the hiatus might have served the Reds well in terms of getting more bodies back in contention for a place in the starting XI, Schopp - when addressing the media yesterday ahead of this weekend's clash with Reading - admitted that there are still unlikely to be returns this week for any of Mads Andersen, Carlton Morris, Aapo Halme, Josh Benson or Obbi Oularé. 

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There are, even, doubts over other players who remain unnamed at this stage as Barnsley head to Berkshire looking for a first win there in some seven years. A side, who after a tricky start to the season have only improved in recent fixtures, with four wins from their last five matches, pitting them as one of the EFL's form teams. 

It's a second season in charge of the Royals for Veljko Paunović. The former Serbian international midfielder guided Reading to a 7th-place finish last term, just missing out on a play-off position. Much credit must go to the former Atlético Madrid man however, considering the off-field troubles endured over the summer at the newly rebranded Select Car Leasing Stadium.

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The Royals have fallen foul of EFL financial rules and it's a matter of when, not if they are given a points deduction this season. So whilst they've performed admirably on the pitch and with 16 points they sit - once again - just outside the top six, it's likely that any docking of points would see them drop into the bottom reaches alongside the Reds. 

When looking at the Reading squad, a number of names jump out at you. We've the former Barnsley players such as Andy Yiadom and Danny Drinkwater; proven quality in the likes of Scott Dann, Liam Moore and Junior Hoilett; the standout player though for the men in blue and white hoops has to be attacking midfielder John Swift. 

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The former Chelsea academy product is closing in on 200 appearances as a Royal and after injury problems hampered him last term he has come back with real vengeance this season. Seven goals in the Championship already, out of contract next summer, he's one of the stars of the division and will no doubt have a host of suitors in January. 

Reading have only been beaten on home soil just the once this season. That was a 3-2 defeat against Bristol City back in August. Last time out at this venue, the Royals edged out Middlesbrough 1-0 thanks to a second half Alan Halilović goal. 

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Our last three points in this fixture came - as we referred to earlier - when goals from Stephen Dawson, Reuben Noble-Lazarus and Dale Jennings helped us to a 3-1 victory in 2014. And it's 10 years since our last Saturday win away at Reading. Back in August of 2011, under Keith Hill, Barnsley kick-started that season with a first win, 2-1, where goalkeeper Luke Steele pulled off two separate saves from penalty kicks. 

It was a loss on our last trip to Berkshire, however. The Reds had both Michał Helik and Mads Andersen sent off and went down to a 2-0 defeat.

The referee for Saturday's game is Mr Andy Davies. The Hampshire-based official last took control of a Reds fixture in December of last year, the 2-0 defeat away at Swansea City. This will be his eighth Sky Bet Championship appearance of the season and he's yet to get out his red card.

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In terms of domestic streaming, a reminder that the EFL has returned to the position held pre-pandemic, where any games kicking off between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on Saturday afternoons are prohibited. 

However, supporters in the UK are able to buy audio passes via iFollow Barnsley. 

Our overseas fans can enjoy live streaming of the game, with a match pass priced at £10.

For further information on iFollow for this season, and how to activate seasonal subscriptions, please click the link below. 

iFollow

 


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