Mid-table clash at the Madjeski as Reading host Hull


Its 14th vs 15th at RG2 on Saturday with just one point separating Reading and Hull. But aside from league position, both sides have more in common than first thought.

The dawn of a new decade has been somewhat of a false pretension for both Reading and Hull City. Despite the pair recording wins on New Years Day, both have failed to win since. But that’s not where the similarities end.

In the 54 meetings between the sides, there is nothing to split them. There have been 18 draws, 18 Hull wins and 18 Reading wins.

Results have been mixed for Mark Bowen’s Royals, picking up three draws and two losses. However, results have been far better than those of Saturday’s visitors. Hull have been travelling downhill at alarming speed since the beginning of the year, losing four on the bounce and only scoring twice in those games.

In addition, the departure of starman Jarrod Bowen to West Ham on deadline day would have only rubbed salt in the wounds of a suffering Hull side and manager Grant McCann. With early hopes of a play-off place now dashed, the Tigers are forced to resign themselves to another consolidation season in England’s second division.

But one positive for Hull’s travelling faithful is that their side have been something of a bogey team for Reading. Last season’s home victory at the Madjeski was the Royals first win in 11 attempts.

Team News

Mark Bowen has received an injury boost with club captain Liam Moore expected to be fit having missed their FA Cup replay win against Cardiff midweek. But Andy Yiadom (knee), Matt Miazga (ankle) and Lucas Joao (hamstring) remain sidelined.

January signings Felipe Araruna and Ayub Masika will both be eligible to make their Reading debuts and could be among the Reading squad for the first time.

Grant McCann will welcome back Callum Elder, who began training this week. But James Scott is out having suffered an ankle injury in training. Matthew Pennington, Kevin Stewart and Martin Samuelsen are all ruled out.

Reading boss Mark Bowen has urged his men to take the game to a Hull City side in miserable form:

“Whoever is picked, all I’m doing is being honest and picking a side that can go and win a game for Reading Football Club.

“Until it’s mathematically impossible, we’ll keep striving to get to those play-off places. We have drawn a game or two too many lately but I am a glass-half-full man.

“So we’ll keep trying to win games and that’s what we want to do on Saturday. It’s a home game, and I’m hoping our fans will be buoyant after Tuesday’s win. We want to start fast, start well, take the game to them and come away with three points.”

Grant McCann wants his side to rediscover their defensive solidity as they look to stop the rot:

“We’ve worked hard on our defensive structure this week and what we need to do. That’s not just with the back four and the goalkeeper, it’s with everybody. We have some good attacking players at this club and it’s about making sure we’re in a good shape to hurt teams.

“We’ve scored the most goals on the counter-attack in the division, and when we’re defensively strong that is when we are dangerous. We need to get back to that.

“We’ve all underperformed in the last four games and I include myself in that. We’ve worked hard this week and we need to get back to what we’ve shown for large spells this season in terms of how well we can play because, certainly in the last two games, we’ve been nowhere near.

“We’ve had a full week to focus on this game with no distractions. We’ve been focussed on getting back to basics and being defensively strong.”


Reading wins: 18

Draws: 18

Hull wins: 18

For the post-match report and regular updates on Twitter from our reporter Jacob Tanswell, follow @Prostsoccer & @J_Tanswell


About Author

Football, Boxing and Cricket correspondent from Hampshire, covering southern sport. Editor and Head of Boxing at Prost International. Accreditated EFL & EPL journalist.

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