Behind Enemy Lines: Reading

AFTER winning their last away match, 4-3 at Leeds, the Lions will be hoping to make it two on the bounce at Reading.

Neil Harris' men know that they have another good chance of three points at the Madejski Stadium, particularly following a good point at home against Derby on Tuesday night.

Reading have been particularly disappointing in the Championship this season. After only missing out on promotion by a penalty shoot-out last season against Huddersfield, Jaap Stam's team have been poor and could well find themselves in a relegation battle.

Lucas Ball spoke to Reading fan and Member of Parliament Damian Green this week.

Why do you support Reading?

My family moved to Reading in 1965, when I was nine. I went to the first game of the 1965-66 season (which we lost) and have been hooked ever since

What’s your best season supporting the Royals?

To be greedy, two seasons. First, 2005-6, when we won the Championship with 106 points, a record we hope Wolves don’t beat this year.

And the following season, when we finished eighth in the Premier League, including a 3-1 win over Liverpool which must be the club’s best league performance ever. Steve Coppell is still revered in these parts.

Is Jaap Stam the right man for the job?

This season has produced the most consistently boring football I have ever seen from a Reading team, despite some interesting new players coming in the summer after a play-off final defeat last year.

I will be extremely charitable and say the jury is still out.

How was Reading’s January window?

Two good-looking loan arrivals: Tommy Elphick from Aston Villa to shore up a creaky defence, and Chris Martin from Derby County to score all those goals we haven’t seen so far.

Who could the Royals’ danger men be against Millwall?

Mo Barrow ought to be, but the laboured way we play denies him the chance.

See Chris Martin (above), a proven goal scorer at this level.

Which Millwall players will Reading be wary of?

Anyone who presses hard against our defenders, who will be passing it among themselves and reliably lose it in a dangerous position at least once a game.

What’s your predicted Reading starting XI and formation?

3-5-2 or 5-3-2


Bacuna Moore Elphicke Ilori Gunter

Edwards Van den Berg Evans

Bodvarsson Martin

With the caveat that Stam is highly unpredictable so he may well leave out both the new signings and play one up front.

Finally, a score prediction?

Reading 0-0 Millwall.  (It’s been that kind of season.)

Graphic: @ShedCreative