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26 August 2017 Venue St. Andrew's Stadium Attendance

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Ahead of the game | Royals to swing for St Andrew's victory

Reading aiming for three points to take into international break

25 August 2017

Get the lowdown on Saturday's trip as the Royals face Birmingham City in the Sky Bet Championship...

Birmingham City vs Reading
Saturday 26th August 2017
Sky Bet Championship
St. Andrew's
3pm kick-off

Royals go into Saturday's Championship match against Birmingham City on a high after securing their passage into the Third Round of the Carabao Cup with a 3-1 extra time victory against Millwall in midweek.

Fixture News

Date set for Swansea clash in Carabao Cup

24 August 2017

As a reward, Jaap Stam's side will be welcoming Premier League outfit Swansea City to Madejski Stadium in September. 

Back to league matters, though, Reading are aiming for three vital points before the international break against a Birmingham side with an identical record from the first four matches of the season.

Blues head into Saturday off the back of a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Midlands rivals Burton Albion in the league, before going down by the same scoreline in midweek against AFC Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup.

Following a 1-0 loss at Preston North End last weekend, the Royals will be aiming to put that result to bed as soon as possible with a strong performance at St. Andrew's on Saturday afternoon.

Away fan guide

Click here to view Birmingham City's guide for visiting supporters.

Travel

Supporters' Trust at Reading (STAR) offer travel to all away games, details of which can be found by following the link here.

St. Andrew's is based around a mile-and-a-half from the city centre, and is accessible by a number of bus routes. 

By car, from Reading it is most easily accessible by heading on the M40 Northbound before taking Junction 3A, onto the M42 (signposted Airport). Follow the M42 for 7.5 miles and then take the exit for the A45 (Coventry Road), and you can follow Coventry Road all the way to the stadium.

Please note, there is a road closure in place from an hour before kick-off around St Andrew's.  Click here for further information on Birmingham City's website.

Trains are running as usual between Reading and Birmingham, although supporters may find queues on arrival in Birmingham due to HS2 works affecting routes to London Euston - therefore we would encourage anyone travelling by train to allow a little extra time than usual.  For more information on the works, click here to view the National Rail website.

For anyone driving to the ground, the M6 junction to get onto the A38 Aston Expressway will be closed and supporters will need to follow diversion signs.  Click here for more information on the Birmingham City Council website.

Pre-match chat

Odds

Championship sponsors, Sky Bet, make Birmingham 11/10 favourites to take all three points on Saturday afternoon, with the Royals out at 13/5. The draw is 23/10.

Leandro Bacuna scored a wonder-goal on his Madejski debut on Tuesday night, and he is priced at 6/1 to add to his tally on Saturday against former club Aston Villa's rivals. 

On a similar vein, George Evans netted a superb effort against Millwall in extra time, and he is 13/2 to score any time on Saturday.

Officials

Interviews

Jaap praises impact of youngsters in Royals squad

24 August 2017

Stephen Martin is set to be in charge of proceedings in Birmingham on Saturday afternoon. He has a low card average so far, with just six cautions in his five matches this season. His last match officiating the hosts was the Black Country derby back in February, where the 10 men of Birmingham held on to beat Wolves 2-1.

The experienced official last had a Royals match in January, where Roy Beerens struck early in the second half to secure all three points against Fulham at Madejski Stadium.

Martin will be assisted by Adam Crysell and Michael George, with Christopher O'Donnell taking the role of fourth official on Saturday.  

Tickets

For all ticketing enquiries, follow the link to our Ticket Office page or contact the Ticket Office by phone on 0118 968 1313. Our official online ticketing service www.readingfcdirect.co.uk sells seats for home and away games, and email enquiries can be sent to ticketing@readingfc.co.uk

Reminder

We wish to politely remind supporters that the football club is responsible for their conduct at all matches (home or away) and any person committing a football-related offence or involved in serious misconduct at any match will result in a club ban. Examples of serious misconduct include discriminatory, offensive or abusive chanting, entering the pitch, persistent standing and throwing a missile. Supporters witnessing any incidents of serious misconduct are encouraged to report this to the football club by texting 80800, beginning your message with the word SAFE. 

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Match Reports

Böðvarsson and Evans oust Blues at St Andrew's

Dominant Royals earn first away win of the season with comfortable 2-0 victory

26 August 2017

The Royals picked up their first away win of the season with a dominant display at St Andrew's this afternoon; second half goals from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and George Evans were enough to see off the threat of Harry Redknapp's Birmingham City in a game which Reading controlled.

  • Blackett and Gunter force first half saves from Stockdale as Royals dominate
  • Mannone fingertip save pushes a fierce Bramall effort wide in first half injury time.
  • Bodvarsson heads home on the hour to score his first goal for Reading
  • Evans drills a late effort into the bottom left corner to secure the points.

Striker Jón Daði Böðvarsson returned to action for the first time since the opening day after coming through injury, while Tiago Ilori and Joey van den Berg also made the starting eleven. Dave Edwards was announced as a new signing before kick-off but the former Wolves man will have to wait until after the international break to make his Reading bow.

Reading assumed total control in the early stages, passing the ball about patiently and looking to create an opening when Kelly's early ball into Barrow allowed the formwe Swansea man to drill a low cross into the middle which was hurriedly hacked behind for a corner.

Kelly's deep delivery was recycled by a ball-juggling McShane inside the box and the ball fell to Kelly whose driven effort was charged out to Blackett.He then stabbed a shot on target and forced a five save from David Stockdale to keep the game goalless.

Bodvarsson and Bacuna aimed efforts from distance wide of the target while Jaques Maghoma's cross needed heading away by McShane at the other end in a rare Blues foray into the Reading box.

Liam Moore connected well with a Kelly free kick but aimed his header across goal and just wide of the right upright midway through the first half.



Good work from Bodvarsson kept the throughball from Barrow alive and he fed the ball back to Blackett, who's deep cross was volleyed goalwards first time by Gunter in an advanced position - but it was easy for Stockdale to gather this one as the visitors continued to dominate.

The Royals had the ball in the back of the net before the break, Kelly threading a ball into Barrow who raced through the middle and calmly slotted it wide of Stockdale. But the offside flag had been raised against Barrow to his dismay.

But in injury time at the end of the first forty-five minutes, Mannone had to make a fingertip save to deny Cohen Bramall a 25-yard opener as the ball whistled towards the top right corner before the Italian intervened.

Half time | Birmingham City 0-0 Reading

Harry Redknapp made a change at the break, bringing Lukas Jutkiewicz on for Chiekh Ndoye to add more attacking threat to the home side.

But it was Reading who came close to breaking the deadlock when Gunter got in behind to race onto a threaded ball down the right. He pulled a cross back, Bodvarsson dummied it and Kelly arrived to sweep a shot at goal - but Stockdale was down well to his right to save.

A Bramall free kick couldn't beat the Reading wall, but it should have been 1-0 to the Royals just before the hour mark. Kelly found space down the left side of the City box and picked out Barrow on the edge of the six yard box. But the forward miscued his first time shot and passed the ball wide of the bottom right corner to a sigh of relief from the St Andrew's faithful.

It didn't matter though because moments later, the Royals rippled the net. Bacuna scurried onto a one-two and teed up a cross for Blackett. He delivered a delightful ball into the middle where Bodvarsson angled a header past Stockdale for 1-0.



City looked to respond but a timely challenge from Ilori stopped Maghoma in his tracks and then a counter attack saw Barrow pull the ball back for Kelly whose first time effort sailed high over the bar from the edge of the box.

Evans and McCleary came off the bench to add fresh legs to Reading's defence of their lead and McCleary fed Gunter whose cross towards Bodvarsson looked perfect only for a push in the back of the Icelander to deny him a clean header at goal - nothing was awarded by referee Stephen Martin despite protests from Bodvarsson.

But it took a very good block from Moore to deflect a shot from substitute David Davis over the crossbar as City looked for an equaliser.

Bacuna powered into the Birmingham box but could only find the side netting with a shot from a narrow angle and, with only one goal in it, a game which Reading had bossed was still alive.

So with six minutes left on the clock, Reading added a second. McCleary scuttled onto a ball over the top and his low cross towards Bodvarsson was cut out on the edge of the six yard box. It came back to McCleary who pulled the ball back once more, this time picking out Evans who brilliantly swept the ball into the bottom right corner for 2-0.

Gallagher did well to work a pull back from the byline in the final minute of normal time but Maghoma was denied by a could of charging Reading defenders and McShane nodded the loose ball into the arms of Mannone as four minutes of additional time were signalled.

Sam Smith came on for his league debut and directed a deflected shot just wide of the left upright in injury time. And the last kick of the game saw Kieftenbeld drive well wide. But the points were deservedly Reading's to take home on the coach.

Full time | Birmingham 0-2 Reading

Birmingham City: Stockdale, Jenkinson (Nsue 32), Grounds (Davis 78), Roberts, Kieftenbeld, Bramall, Ndoye (Jutkiewicz HT), Gallagher, Maghoma, Morrison (c), Gleeson.
Subs: Kuszczak, Shotton, Gardner, Harding.
Goals:

Reading:
 Mannone, Gunter, Blackett, McShane (c), Moore, Ilori, Van den Berg (Evans 70), Kelly, Bacuna, Barrow (McCleary 76), Bodvarsson (Smith 88).
Subs: Jaakkola, Andresson, Popa, Clement.
Goals: Bodvarsson 60, Evans 84

Att: 19,993 (895 away)

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