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21 December 2019 Venue Madejski Stadium Attendance

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Match Previews

Ahead of the game | A yuletide Derby

Rams to head to RG2 for festive fixture

20 December 2019

The packed Christmas fixture schedule gets underway in earnest this weekend, and we need you here to back the boys against Derby...

Interviews

Rafael on learning English and his Royals spell so far

19 December 2019

Reading vs Derby County
Sky Bet Championship
Saturday 21st December 2019, 3pm
Madejski Stadium

The Royals are gearing up to take on a Derby County side which is currently struggling for form, with just one win in seven and only three goals scored in that time. 

However, the Rams' recent record at Madejski Stadium has shown them to be something of a 'bogey' side for the Royals, with Derby not losing at the home of Reading since 2011.

The visitors will also have a former England captain among their ranks in Wayne Rooney, but Derby's new player-coach is not yet eligible to put his playing boots on, and will instead be watching from the dugout at the Madejski.

Two former Royals will be in contention to line up against their former side in George Evans and Chris Martin, with Martin in particular enjoying a resurgent season back at Derby, playing regularly and getting back among the goals as well.

Mark Bowen's side go into Saturday's game knowing that three points would see them leapfrog their opponents at the weekend, as they look to start the festive period in the best way possible.

Off the pitch, there are plenty of Christmas activities happening all around the ground on Saturday - so we would love to see you there as we play some festive football.

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Christmas activities

Outside the Eamonn Dolan Stand at Madejski Stadium, there will be a Christmas Village for you to enjoy before Saturday's game. 

A host of festive refreshments will be on offer, as well as mince pies, free-to-ride dodgem cars and a rodeo reindeer, and much more!

Our activities open at 1pm, and will also be open at half-time on Saturday. The Moving On Choir will also be performing Christmas carols from 1.30pm on the day. For full information about our festive offerings on Saturday, click here.

In our Hospitality packages, for this game there will be a Santa's Grotto available for children to be able to meet the main man just a few days before the big day, as well as a special festive menu alongside your usual offering of the best seats in the house at Madejski Stadium. Click here for further information.

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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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Michael Salisbury will be on the whistle for the weekend's match, and it will not only be his first time officiating Reading or Derby, but his first time in charge of a Championship match in his career to date. He has spent the last three-and-a-half seasons officiating in Leagues One and Two, and makes the step up to the second tier for the first time this weekend.

He has averaged about 2.5 yellow cards per match so far this season, and has shown the red card on seven occasions. His last outing came at the Abbey Stadium, when Reading loanee Sam Smith started for Cambridge United in their 1-0 win over Plymouth Argyle a fortnight ago.

Mr Salisbury will be assisted on the day at Madejski Stadium by Adrian Waters and Akil Howson, with Andy Woolmer 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

Royals put three past Rams in terrific win

Adam, João and Méïté all on the scoresheet

21 December 2019

Three goals, a clean sheet and three points for the Royals. A successful afternoon in RG2 as Derby were downed 3-0 in our final fixture before Christmas.

Charlie Adam struck in the fifth minute from the spot as Scott Malone’s challenge in the area drew a red card. And then after the break, Lucas João widened the margin before Yakou Méïté sealed a win from another penalty.

There was an attacking lilt to the starting line-up – Yakou Méïté, Lucas João and Sam Baldock all began in a front three. Meanwhile John Swift, who had been missing through injury in recent weeks, was deemed fit enough for inclusion amongst the substitutes.

Within a few minutes of kick-off, the Royals were a man up and a goal up as a quick counter reaped big rewards. It was the front three that combined – Baldock spun on halfway and fed João, who had the wherewithal to spot the run of Méïté unchecked through the middle.

Trying to recover, defender Scott Malone prevented Méïté from getting a shot away – but fouling him in the process. The referee pointed to the spot, dipped into his pocket to produce a red card for Malone, and Adam stepped up to take the penalty. Drilled decisively past Ben Hamer for the opener.

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Even with the numerical disadvantage, the Rams could have levelled within a matter of minutes as Tom Lawrence scampered onto a pinpoint through ball. A stinging strike cracked against the woodwork at Rafael’s near side.

Derby’s ten men were well-organised at the back and not leaving any more gaps to exploit. Picking their moments at the other end, they went close as Duane Holmes sent in a long throw – Jason Knight hit a half-volley from just inside the area but over Rafael’s goal.

Twice in succession, the could have been further in front. Ovie Ejaria slid in Baldock left of goal, who could only hit side netting, and then Méïté stormed through the middle and drilled a yard wide of Hamer’s near post.

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And then João was close to getting on the scoresheet as Méïté broke through and squared – the intent was good as he tried to use his quick footwork to round a challenge in the area, but the ball got stuck under his feet and a timely tackle came in.

Martyn Waghorn had a shooting chance from a free-kick but hammered into the wall, and then Knight forced a flying stop from Rafael as he strode downfield, played a one-two and fizzed a fierce effort.

Another fine stop from Brazilian goalie Rafael kept the lead intact as Waghorn drifted onto a well-weighted forward ball, controlled on his chest and fired low. Knight was upended by Tyler Blackett as he tried to turn on the rebound; the referee waved away cries for a penalty.

Half-time: Reading 1-0 Derby County

Early in the second half, Baldock came close. Ejaria capitalised as a cross-field ball was underhit and bounded forward. Baldock received inside the box and fired through the crowd; Hamer saw it in time to react with an outstretched palm.

Hamer denied Baldock again, this time at his near post, as he combined with João brilliantly. A couple of sumptuous touches and a delightful back-heel from the Portuguese forward allowed Baldock to smash one, but well saved.

There was a heart-in-mouth moment when Knight went down in the area with Adam nearby - but the referee saw that he'd taken a tumble without any contact, and booked the Derby man. Captain Curtis Davies also got his name taken for his protestations.

Soon after, the Royals had the ball in the net at the other end. It was simple stuff too - sub Swift, who had replaced Rinomhota a few minutes earlier, received on the right and played a delicate low cross into the path of João, whose run had gone unchecked. The forward swept in from inside the six-yard box.

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The Rams refused to go down tamely. They were still getting onto second balls sharply and Knight's eyes lit up when he picked up 25 yards from goal. A rocket of a shot had the goalie beaten, but cannoned back into play off the crossbar.

Méïté had been in the thick of the physical battle all afternoon and used his strength to hold off a challenge on the right, and cut inside. A venomous effort was dipping as it flew towards goal; Hamer couldn't hold but managed to scoop it away.

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As the game ticked on, it became increasingly stretched as Derby looked for a way back in, and the Royals looked to exploit on the break. João drew a save from Hamer as Reading broke in numbers, and then Chris Gunter's low cut-back found sub Lucas Boyé, who controlled in the area rather to striking first time - and a saving tackle came in.

But when João went through on goal again, he was taken down by Forsyth in the area - a sliding tackle which was ill-timed and caused the referee to point to the spot for the second time. Forsyth was booked, and Méïté stepped up to fire into the bottom corner decisively.

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The lead could have been further extended as the Royals broke on the counter regularly but couldn't apply another finish in the pouring rain.

It mattered little. 3-0 it ended - reasons to be cheerful this Christmas for Royals supporters.

Full-time: Reading 3-0 Derby County

Reading: Rafael, Gunter, Blackett, Moore (c), Morrison, Adam (Pelé 66), Rinomhota (Swift 52), Ejaria, Méïté, João, Baldock (Boyé 72).
Unused subs: Walker, McCleary, Howe, Richards.
Goals: Adam (5 pen), João (58), Méïté (87 pen).
Yellow: Adam, Blackett.

Derby County: Hamer, Forsyth, Bielik (Sibley 70), Waghorn, Lawrence (Marriott 83), Martin (Lowe 6), Holmes, Davies (c), Bogle, Knight, Malone.
Unused subs: Roos, Dowell, Wisdom, Whittaker.
Yellow: Lawrence, Knight, Davies, Lowe, Holmes, Bogle, Sibley, Forsyth.
Red: Malone.

Referee: Mr M Salisbury

Attendance: 14,831 (1,381 away)

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