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20 March 2021 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 | Royals finish March with visit of QPR

The R's make the trip to the Madejski this Saturday

19 March 2021

Following a disappointing midweek defeat to Birmigham City, the Royals will be hoping to go into the international break on a high, and they end the month with a third and final home game, as Queens Park Rangers travel from Shepherds Bush to RG2 on Saturday.

Victory over QPR this weekend would see us make it three home wins on the spin, and could re-establish a more significant cushion between us and those outside the play-off spots.

Veljko Paunović's side will be hopeful of completing a league double over QPR for the first time since our 2005-06 promotion season, after Michael Olise grabbed a late winner against the R's back in December. 

However, Mark Warburton's 12th-placed Rangers will make the short trip to Berkshire bouyed by their Wednesday night win over London rivals Millwall, during which they came from behind to beat the Lions at Loftus Road. 

How to watch

Saturday's meeting with QPR is available for supporters to watch via iFollow.

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Royals supporters can grab their Match Pass to watch proceedings unfold, by clicking here ahead of our 3pm kick-off.

The opposition

Rangers endured a tough start to the season and were sitting dangerously above the drop zone, but since the turn of the year, Mark Warburton's side have proved themselves a solid outfit, climbing to mid-table as they threaten to break into the top-half as the season reaches its closing stages.

Last time out, QPR staged an impressive second-half comeback to earn victory over fellow Londoners Millwall. Rangers were two-down at the break, but three goals in 35 minutes saw them turn the game on its head.

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During the transfer window, Rangers re-signed former forward and fan favourite Charlie Austin, and once he again he has proved invaluable to QPR's upturn in fortune since the beginning of 2021. In what was a busy transfer window for the R's, they also added Fulham and West Brom loanees Stefan Johansen and Sam Field, Gillingham keeper Joe Walsh, and Hull defender Jordy de Wijs to their ranks. 

Within their squad, QPR also have one former Royal, defender Rob Dickie, who joined the club's Academy as an 8-year-old, before going on to spend 14 years at Reading. During that time, Dickie made one senior appearance as a substitute on the final day of the 2015-16 season. He also had loan stints with Basingstoke Town, Cheltenham Town and Lincoln City. 

One to watch: Ilias Chair

Belgian-born Moroccan Chair has been at Loftus Road since January 2017, and is fast approaching his 100th Rangers appearance in his most successful season as a QPR player to date. The 23-year-old attacking midfielder has found the net on seven occasions already this season, and has two goals in his last four outings. 

The former-Club Brugge academy player has contributed decisive strikes to help Warburton's men to three points over Bristol City, Wycombe, Rotherham, Nottingham Forest and Cardiff to date.

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In January, Chair signed a new four-year deal with the R's and he has been a key part of Rangers' starting squads since he played 41 of 46 games during the 2019/20 campaign. Before making the move to London aged 19, Chair had played a landful of games in the Belgian First Division B for Lierse S.K.

During his first full season in England, Chair who was raised in Antwerp, spent time on loan with League Two side Stevenage. While at Broadhall Way, Chair was described by manager Dino Maamria as 'the best player to ever wear a Stevenage shirt' as he scored six goals in 16 appearances from midfield.

Pre-match chat

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Head-to-head

The Royals are unbeaten in their last four meetings with QPR, and tasted victory over them in this season's reverse fixture, as Michael Olise produced a moment of individual brilliance to secure us a 1-0 win at Loftus Road back in December. 

Reading have not been beaten by Rangers since October 2018, and they will be keen to stretch this impressive run of form against Saturday's visitors to five games, and three points would see us complete a league double over QPR for the first time since the 2005-06 promotion season, which was a record-breaking one for the Royals.

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The last time the two sides met at the Madejski, a stunning half-volley from John Swift ensured it was a very happy Christmas for Royals supporters who witnessed a 1-0 win over the R's on Boxing Day 2019.

Reading have won 42 and drawn 24 of a total 97 meetings between the teams, which dates back to our first meeting, an FA Cup tie in January 1908.

Ref watch

Dean Whitestone will be the man in the middle come Saturday afternoon, for what will be his third Reading game of the season.

Whitestone has already officiated two Royals fixtures this season, our 3-0 victory over Coventry City back in January, and more recently in February, our 1-0 defeat away at Wycombe Wanderers. 

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Adam Crysell and Craig Taylor will assist Whitestone at the weekend, while Andy Woolmer will be the fourth official on this occasion.

Whitestone has taken charge of 26 league games to date, during which he has brandished 52 yellow cards and three 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.

Reminder 

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.

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Match Reports

Report | Meite finds the net as spoils shared

Account of the action from RG2

20 March 2021

Yakou Meite's third goal in as many games earned a point for Reading, who came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw at Madejski Stadium.

Lyndon Dykes snatched a lead for QPR just moments before the interval, very much against the run of play - but Meite had Reading level before the hour-mark. The game opened up as the hosts pushed to complete the turnaround, occasionally gifting space for QPR to counter into... but that was the end of the goalscoring, as the teams shared the spoils.

There were three changes to the starting line-up, two of which were enforced; Tom McIntyre and Andy Yiadom missed out on the squad completely, while Alfa Semedo took a seat on the bench. That meant a return to the XI for Ovie Ejaria, Andy Rinomhota and Lewis Gibson.

In midweek, the Royals were punished for a slow start by conceding early in Birmingham. This time around, the team began with purpose and fashioned a chance within the first two minutes, as Omar Richards teed up the returning Andy Rinomhota - a drive from the edge of the area deflected marginally wide.

QPR tried to take the pep out of the game after a lively start from the hosts, but Reading kept up the tempo. Meite was onside as Olise's ball was raked into the path of his out-to-in run off the right flank; he slipped initially but still managed to register a shot, blocked. Then Olise tried to pull the strings again just seconds later, flighting one over the defence into Joao's feet. He dummied to buy a yard, but still a recovery tackle came in.

Rangers, settling into the game after an early flurry of Royals opportunities, could have taken the lead with their first opportunity. A short-corner routine saw Charlie Austin teed up outside the area, but he dragged his effort well wide.

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On his return to the starting XI, Ejaria was playing purposefully in and out of possession. He snapped into a tackle outside the QPR box, winning the ball high upfield and allowing Omar Richards to send in an instantaneous cross towards Joao... agonisingly, the slightest of touches by the outstretched toe of Jordy de Wijs took it out of reach from the forward, who would have had a gilt-edged chance.

Ejaria again made things happen with a mazy run down the left - refusing to surrender possession when tackled, he found Olise arriving unmarked on the penalty spot, but the teenager leant back on his shot and cleared the bar with a presentable chance.

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So it was a sucker punch when that opening goal came, 30 seconds before the first 45 minutes was up. After QPR skipper Lee Wallace picked up the ball on the left, he played infield to Ilias Chair and ran in behind to receive the return ball. The full-back slid a low cross into the six-yard box, where Dykes was arriving to apply the finishing touch and send the Royals into the half-time break with a cruel deficit.

Half-time: Reading 0-1 QPR

Gibson was first to fire an attempt at goal, looking to get Reading level. Joining in with an early attack, the centre-half pinged a 25-yard shot which was nicked away for a corner.

Ten minutes after the break, Reading had the ball in the net - only for the assistant's flag to cut short the celebrations. It was another marvellous run by Ejaria, dancing past the Rangers defence, and eventually picking out Meite. Seny Dieng kept out the Ivorian's effort, before skipper Liam Moore turned in - up went a very questionable flag.

But the goal came just a minute later, no less than was deserved. Rinomhota battled for the ball in his own half, before driving on and raking a ball up to Meite - a great touch on his chest, chopping past former Royal Rob Dickie, and slotting past the goalkeeper... all square!

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Reading could - and probably should - have been ahead almost immediately. Ejaria stabbed a bisecting ball through the QPR rear-guard for Joao to race on to... he touched the ball around the goalkeeper, but snatched at his left-footed shot with the goal gaping, missing wide of the near post.

Academy graduate full-back Tom Holmes saw his wait for his maiden goal go on, going close again. Some burly hold-up play from Joao and a lay-off by Meite presented the opportunity, but the effort from wide on the right just faded off target and flashed wide on the far side.

The tempo remained high - Reading giving everything to try to grab the win. That occasionally left space for Rangers to counter into, and Chris Willock could have re-established a lead for the visitors but directed an effort wide.

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And then Stefan Johansen was denied by a brilliant stop from Rafael. A lolloping run down the left by Wallace allowed him to find the late arrival in the area from his midfield teammate, but the Brazilian spread himself brilliantly to keep the ball at bay.

Alfa Semedo and George Puscas were introduced for the final 10 minutes, and an elbow complaint from Holmes meant Tomas Esteves replaced him soon after. But the momentum had swung back the visitors' way and waves of attack were having to be dealt with by the defence.

Royals rode the pressure and tried to fashion some late opportunities... but the visitors' defence gave nothing away. Ultimately the clock ran out on the game, and the Royals had to settle for a point.

Full-time: Reading 1-1 QPR

Reading: Rafael, Holmes (Esteves 83), Richards, Moore (c), Gibson, Laurent, Rinomhota, Ejaria, Olise (Semedo 79), Meite, Joao (Puscas 79).
Unused subs: Southwood, Tetek, Aluko, Onen, Camara, Baldock.

Yellow: Chair.
Scorer: Meite (57).

Queens Park Rangers: Dieng, Wallace (c), Dickie, De Wijs (Cameron 49), Barbet, Dykes, Chair (Ball 65 (Kane 90+4)), Johansen, Field, Kakay, Austin (Willock 65).
Unused subs: Lumley, Bonne, Thomas, Hamalainen, Adomah.

Scorer: Dykes (45).

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