Despite being made to settle for a point in tricky conditions against Stoke on Saturday, the Royals go into Wednesday evening’s visit from Brentford, seven games unbeaten and looking to extend that run when the in-form Bees land at Madejski Stadium.
Brentford, who haven’t lost in the league since late October, sit second and come into the game on the back of three straight wins. The Royals sit six points and two places below the Bees in fourth, but Wednesday presents us with a chance to cut the gap and keep the pressure on the top two.
Our midweek meeting also offers Veljko Paunović’s men the chance for more payback against a side who had previously gotten the better of us, as Brentford did in December. A team is yet to complete a league double over the Royals this season.
How to watch
Wednesday evening’s highly anticipated clash in RG2 is available for supporters to watch via iFollow.
Supporters can grab their match pass to watch proceedings unfold, by clicking here ahead of our 7pm kick-off.
Thomas Frank’s Bees are without doubt the division’s form team. Not only have they not lost in 20 league games, but they have won three games on the spin, during which they have found the net on 14 occasions.
This impressive record has seen them surge up the table and the Greater London side find themselves just a point off top spot, with a game in hand on leaders, Norwich City.
Last time out, Wednesday’s visitors enjoyed success on the road as they recorded a 4-1 win over play-off hopefuls Middlesbrough.
During the January transfer window, Brentford bolstered their ranks with the permanent addition of Iranian winger Saman Ghoddos and the loan signing of West Ham United centre-back, Winston Reid.
One to watch: Ivan Toney
With 22 league goals to his name in just 27 appearances, it is no surprise that Toney sits top of the scoring charts. Since arriving in the summer from League One side Peterborough United, Toney has hit the ground running and has proved the perfect replacement for the departing Ollie Watkins.
The 24-year-old striker’s fine run of form continued over the weekend, as he struck twice during his side’s resounding victory over Middlesbrough. Toney, who is enjoying his most successful season to date, will be hoping to add a first promotion to his footballing CV in his first year working under Frank.
A former-Northampton Town academy product, Toney has nothced six goals in his last three outings and the Royals backline will undoubtedly be looking to keep the highly-rated forward at bay during his visit to the Madejski.
Wednesday night offers the Royals a chance to bring an end to three consecutive defeats against Brentford.
Reading have not beaten the Bees since April 2019, when two first-half goals in the space of seven minutes from Yakou Méïté sealed a 2-1 win for the Royals.
The last time the two sides met, the Bees sealed a 3-1 victory after hitting three inside 18 minutes thanks to goals from Bryan Mbuemo (2) and Mathias Jensen. Sone Aluko pulled one back for the Royals, but his strike proved little more than a consolation at the Brentford Community Stadium.
Tony Harrington will take charge of proceedings on Wednesday evening, for what will be his second Reading game of the season.
Harrington last officiated a Royals match back in December 2020, during which Michael Olise produced a moment of magic to see off QPR during a 1-0 victory at Loftus Road.
Robert Hyde and Daniel Leach will assist Harrington on the night, while Andy Woolmer will be the fourth official on this occasion.
During Harrington’s 23 league games to date, he has issued 61 yellow cards and two additional red cards.
Notes from STAR
Supporters' Trust at Reading have put together their 'programme notes' ahead of the game, which you can access by clicking here.
A polite reminder to our supporters that no unauthorised access will be permitted to this game, so supporters must not travel to Madejski Stadium.
We can’t wait to see you all again soon – but for now it’s important that when we play, please stay away.