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07 December 2019 Venue Madejski Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Ahead of the game | Back at home to face Blues

Royals back in familiar surroundings this weekend to take on Birmingham

6 December 2019

After success on the road last time out, we're back home at Madejski Stadium this weekend...

Interviews

Manager gives fitness updates on Baldock and Ejaria

6 December 2019

Reading vs Birmingham City
Sky Bet Championship
Saturday 7th December 2019
Madejski Stadium

Following on from a remarkable turnaround away at the DW Stadium, Reading welcome Birmingham City to Madejski Stadium this weekend in the hope of taking back-to-back wins, and move to within a point of Saturday's opponents in the Sky Bet Championship table.

Pep Clotet was confirmed as Blues' new head coach in the week, having been in the role on a caretaker basis since the start of the season.

The last time the teams met came on the last day of the 2018-19 campaign, with the match effectively being a dead rubber as both teams had already confirmed their Championship survival.

Saturday's match will be straight back to business, however. Blues come into the weekend winless in their last five matches, although they have come from behind to draw twice in their last three games.

Reading, meanwhile, have won four out of seven under Mark Bowen so far, with the only dropped points on Bowen's home record being a late defeat against table-topping Leeds United 10 days ago.

Mark Bowen has confirmed that Ovie Ejaria will be fit for Saturday's match, after missing out last weekend through illness. Sam Baldock is also in the frame to be in the squad after being involved in training on Thursday, while John Swift is likely to be a longer-term absentee.

Lucas João will be pushing for a start up front after coming off the bench to return from injury at Wigan, with George Pușcaș hoping to build on his rapidly-taken hat-trick last weekend at the DW.

It's certain to be another crucial clash in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday, and we would love to see you here to back the boys this weekend.

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The Royal

You will have 50 chances to win a copy of Football Manager 2020 this weekend, and all you have to do to enter is buy a copy of your essential matchday companion, The Royal.

Inside 50 copies of our programme will be a winning message and a unique code for winners of the game, which if you are lucky enough to find, will need to take to our Fanstore to claim your prize. For further information about this fantastic giveaway, click here.

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Tickets

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For full ticket information, including prices and how you can buy online, head here.

You can also visit our Ticket Office during opening hours or ring 0118 968 1313.

Pre-match chat

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Travel

Parking paid on site on arrival on a first-come first-served basis at the cost of £10. There are also other options off site for our fans including buses and Park & Ride.

Please note that contactless payments are now being accepted for matchday parking at Madejski Stadium and the Old Greyhound Stadium.

For details on your full range of travel options, head here.

Match officials

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Tim Robinson will be on the whistle this weekend at Madejski Stadium, as the Sussex-based official takes charge of the Royals for the first time this season.

He has averaged around three yellow cards per game in his 13 matches so far in the Championship and the Carabao Cup this season, while only brandishing the red card for Fulham's Harry Arter for a second bookable offence against Cardiff City back in August.

Mr Robinson has already overseen a Blues match this term - a 1-0 loss away from home as they faced Wigan Athletic back in October.

The referee will be assisted on the touchlines by Ian Cooper and Robert Hyde, with Sam Lewis on hand as fourth official.

Weather

READING MADEJSKI STADIUM

Food & Drink

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Make sure you follow @bluecollarfood on Twitter to find out their latest news, where they’ll be announcing what fantastic food outlets will be located where for the first fixture.

Also, please note that for the 2019-20 season, we are prioritising contactless card payments on kiosks within the concourses at Madejski Stadium - meaning quicker service for all. There will be only one cash till per kiosk so please ensure you have card payment if possible.

EFL clubs united in tackling discrimination

The EFL and EFL Clubs are united in tackling discrimination and prejudiced behaviour in all its forms and are reminding supporters that no forms of abuse will be tolerated ahead of this weekend’s fixtures.

Everyone attending or taking part in a football match has the right to feel safe, valued and included and supporters are therefore being reminded of the positive steps that can be taken on matchdays.

The EFL have suggested a protocol for supporters to follow if you ever find yourself needing to report discrimination of any form at a match, which you can find by clicking here.

Matchday itinerary and opening times

Fanstore - 9am - 5.45pm (approx.)
Ticket Office - 
9am - half-time
Hospitality - 
12.30pm - 6.15pm
Jazz Café - 
12pm - 6pm

Fan Zone and Fun Zone open - 
1pm onwards
Gates open - 
1.30pm
Teams announced - 
2pm
Kick-off - 
3pm
Full-time - 
4.45pm (approx.)

Final F1 bus to Reading Station - 5.41pm

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

Report | Blues edge victory in scrappy affair

Stop-start encounter ends with Birmingham City victory at Madejski Stadium

7 December 2019

It was not a classic. But Birmingham City edged a disjointed, scrappy affair to earn the spoils at Madejski Stadium this afternoon.

The opening minutes saw Matt Miazga involved in both penalty boxes, comfortably seeing out a Birmingham City cross into the box at one end before glancing a header across the Blues area having connected with Pele's corner at the near post.

And the US intertnational was in action again, half charging down a strike from Jude Bellingham on the edge of the penalty area after Richards had been robbed of possession on the Blues' right flank. Richards nearly made a positive impact at the other end though, crossing in towards Meite only to see his ball cut out and put behind for a corner by a last ditch City lunge.

Miazga got his head to the resulting corner and had the same head in his hands as his downward effort dropped just wide of the right post.

A scrappy spell ensued, neither team able to string a sequence of passes together or mount a meaningful attack as a number of injuries were treated to made the game even more stop-start.

A little bit of skill from the fast-footed McCleary on the corner of the City box saw him squeeze between defenders and slide a ball into the unmarked Meite, but the striker tried to sweep it goalwards first time with his left foot but failed to get a clean connection and trouble Connal Trueman between the posts.

A nice neat exchange between Pele and Yiadom saw the latter thread a ball into the run of Puscas just before the half hour but Truman was quick off his line to smother it at the Romanian's feet.

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McCleary again threatened to unlock the City defence with some fine footwork on the left and he battled hard to stab the ball back into the six yard box - where sadly a Birmingham man met it first to clear.

And a half lacking fluidity or much quality ended with an opening goal that was just as scrappy. Michael Morrison stepped in to dispossess Bellingham who was jinking into a shooting position, but the ball spun off his intercepting right leg and past the helpless dive of Rafael to fly inside the right post for an own goal.

However, Reading and Yakou Meite responded before the break could arrive. The Ivorian stooped to head home an inswinging Pele corner - the third in quick succession - and level for the home side and lift Madejski Stadium.

Half-time | Reading 1-1 Birmingham City

The visitors had been forced into two first half changes and Mark Bowen made one of his own at the interval, replacing Miazga with Boye in an attacking tactical switch.

But Birmingham looked to take advantage. Pele backtracked well to dispossess Maghoma, who had beaten Morrison to the ball and broken into the box. And Morrison's passed clearance moments later was cut out by Gimenez who arced a shot across Rafael's goal and just wide.

City were enjoying a fair bit of space in Reading's half and MAghoma nearly took full advantage when he cut in from the left to arrow an effort past Rafael and crashing against the crossbar.

And their dominance at the start of the second half paid off when McCleary conceded a free kick 25 yards from goal, right of centre. Jeremie Bela stepped up and swept a fine set piece past Rafael and into the top left corner to make it 2-1.

The Royals came very close to equalising quickly again, Yiadom winning a corner which Pele delivered into the box and Puscas forcing a fine save from Truman.

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Lucas Joao was brought off the bench in place of McCleary and then Charlie Adam was introduced for Pele, but the hosts were struggling to create any sustained spells of pressure.

Rafael in face had to leap to his right to deny Bela a second from a free kick taken from a similar distance and aimed at the same top corner as the first.

However with 12 minutes left on the clock the substitutes nearly came to good effect. Boye won the ball on the edge of his own box and fed Adam who pinged a perfect crossfield ball out to Yiadom in space on the right. He pulled the ball back for Joao who struck a first time effort just over the bar.

Time was running out for the Royals but they were throwing the kitchen sink at their opponents. Adam's floated cross was met by the head of Meite in the middle but a Birmingham defender headed it off his line as it looped towards goal with six minutes remaining.

But any hope of a late leveller was erased when City counter attacked. Gimenez bundled the ball against Morrison's block but it bounced back into the City man's path and he calmly passed the ball home for 3-1 and three points.

There was a fifth goal in injury time but merely a consolation for Mark Bowen's men - Adam delivering a free kick deep into the Birmingham box and Joao lunging a leg out and toe poking the ball over the line from a yard out.

There was time for an up and under from Adam which caused a little panic in the visitors' area in the final few seconds, but too little too late for the Royals. 

Full-time | Reading 2-3 Birmingham City

Reading: Rafael, Yiadom, Miazga (Boyé HT), Moore (c), Morrison, Richards, Pelé (Adam 71), Rinomhota, McCleary (Joao 66), Méïté, Pușcaș.
Subs: Walker, Gunter, Loader, Blackett.
Goals: Meite 45

Birmingham City: Trueman, Pedersen, Dean (c), Clarke-Salter (Harding 17), Colin, Bellingham, McEachran (Jutkiewicz 69), Sunjic, Crowley (Maghoma 30), Giménez, Bela.
Subs: Camp, Montero, Davis, Bailey.
Goals: Morrison (og) 41, Bela 59, Gimemez 88
Yellow: McEachran 

Attendance: 14,103 (1,896 away)
Referee: T Robinson

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