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First Team

18/19 Sky Bet Championship Preview: Reading

A team in need of consistency; part 16 of our preview series looks at Read

13 June 2018

Reading’s 2017/18 season

League Position: 20th

Average league attendance: 16,656

Top league goal-scorer: Modou Barrow (10)

The Royals are about to start their sixth consecutive season in the Championship, and the last five have been up and down to say the least.

Reading are a team that don't often live up to what's expected of them, positively or negatively. Last season, the squad were hoping to push on from a 3rd place finish the previous year. But they could only managed to scrape 20th. In similar fashion, the 2013/14 season ended with them in 7th place - a good platform to improve and push for the next step. However, next year the 2014/15 campaign landed them 19th spot.

This season Paul Clement has one task, shape the squad into a Play-Off contender. Reading has the foundations of a solid team, but they lack direction and consistency. Find those two things, and they'll reach the top six.

The Ground

The Madejski Stadium

Miles from Brentford: 35.5

Capacity: 24,161

Address: Junction 11, M4, Reading, Berkshire, RG2 0FL

How to get there

The Manager

Paul Clement brings a mountain of experience with him wherever he goes. The 46-year-old has been around the block when it comes to top level teams and top level trophies.

Largely due to his association with Carlo Ancelotti, Clement has several honours to his name including the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid in 2014 and Premier League with Chelsea in 2010.

Now working solo as a Head Coach in his own right, he has yet to translate his top level knowledge into a top level team. Spending just a year with Derby County and Swansea City, he couldn't do much about their situations. Perhaps because those teams required too much work to turn them around in the first place.

He now finds himself at Reading, a team that could suit him well. He's inherited a squad with good reliable players like Yann Kermorgant, John Swift and Tommy Elphick. He needs a good summer of recruitment, and then we'll see how far he can take them.

The Key Man

25-year-old Mo Barrow is a Gambian forward who originally fell out of favour with Paul Clement at Swansea. Having worked his way back from loan spells at Nottingham Forest, Blackburn Rovers and Leeds United, Barrow has landed at Reading under the same boss.

Last season he was an important player for The Royals, scoring the most league goals for the team (10) and starting the third highest amount of games. He was also in the top three for Reading's Player of the Year vote, alongside former Bee Liam Moore.

Next season it will be important for him to show Clement that he can make a good start to the season, because you can guarantee the Manager will be looking to bring in auxiliary striking talent before August.

Last Time

Head to Head

Brentford wins: 32

Draws: 24

Reading wins: 36

2018/19 Odds with Leo Vegas Sport UK*

Championship Winners: 33/1

Promotion: 9/1

Relegation: 5/1

*Odds correct at time of writing. 

 

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