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Ahead of the game: At close quarters with Palace

11 March 2016

All you need to know ahead of our Cup quarter-final

Reading vs Crystal Palace
The FA Cup, quarter-final
Madejski Stadium
Friday 11th March 2016, 7.55pm

For just the sixth time in the long history of our club, we’re a step away from the FA Cup semi-final.

We have been spoilt in that respect in recent seasons – after appearances in the last eight in 1901 and 1927, we had to wait until 2010 to make that stage again… and after appearances in this round in 2011 and 2015, here we are again!

It hasn’t been an easy couple of months for Alan Pardew’s men in the Premier League; a win against Stoke in mid-December put them sixth in the division, but 12 games without a win in the league since then have dragged them into the lower echelons.  But they have beaten three Premier League opponents in that period – Southampton, Stoke and Spurs have all fallen to the Eagles in the FA Cup since the turn of the year.

But with a capacity crowd backing Reading on Friday evening, let’s hope that this is the end of the line for Palace and that Wembley will be beckoning for the Royals once again…

Ticket prices
All Stands
Advance price - all supporters
(Until 5pm on matchday)
£15 for Season Ticket holders
£20 for non-Season Ticket holders
17 & Under
65 & over

Tickets will not be available to buy on matchday at Madejski Stadium so please do not travel to the fixture without your admission arranged.  For full information about ticketing for this fixture, including prices, eligibility for purchase and how to buy, click here.

Supporters are reminded that the Worton Grange parking facility is no longer in operation; click here by way of reminder of our matchday alternatives, which we published ahead of our most recent home fixture against Fulham.

Only Permit Holders will be permitted parking in Madejski Stadium for the match, with the exception of Family (£8) and Disabled (£5) which will be the only pay-on-the-day service.  Limited numbers will be available on a first-come first-served basis.

Because this game kicks off at 7.55pm, Stagecoach football buses will leave 5 minutes prior to their normal timetable which would be in operation for an 8pm kick-off.

If you’re coming on public transport, make sure you follow @reading_buses on Twitter or visit to get more information about your route and football buses.

READ | Brian McDermott hoping to go one better after twice leading us to the Cup QF before:

— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) March 10, 2016

Mike Dean, who refereed the 2008 FA Cup final between Portsmouth and Cardiff, will oversee the fixture at Madejski Stadium.  Dean has been part of the Select Group of referees since 2000, and almost exclusively oversees top-flight fixtures in league competition.  He has taken charge of three FA Cup games so far in 2015/16 – most recently the fifth round tie between Arsenal and Hull which went to a replay – and in his last Premier League outing, he showed Manchester United’s Juan Mata a red card in their 1-0 defeat to West Brom.

Running the line for Dean will be John Brooks and Jake Collin, while Roger East will once again be the fourth official – he had that duty when we defeated the Baggies in the previous round of the competition.

Football League title sponsors Sky Bet have the Premier League team down as favourites – 13/10 are the odds on Palace securing passage on Friday, while you can get 21/10 on Reading taking victory on the night and 12/5 on the game going to a replay.

Captain Paul McShane netted his first Reading goal against West Brom in the last round – he is 14/1 to net again against another of his former clubs when we take on the Eagles.  Matej Vydra is still the competition’s top goalscorer this year with six goals – he is 5/2 to find the net at any time.

Thanks to our Official Pouring Rights Partner, Heineken, Royals fans can enjoy a beverage at the ‘Royals Rendezvous’ before the game.  Located outside the East Stand the new area is an ideal place to catch up and enjoy a drink with fellow fans before the action kicks off!

Don’t forget to get your Golden Gamble ticket – the draw, sponsored by STAR, will be made at half-time.  Tickets can be purchased from designated sellers based around the stadium, for just £1.  There are two prizes up for grabs: a cash prize or an item of Reading FC merchandise, signed by the team!  All funds go to the Reading FC Community Trust.

Download our Guide to the Game by clicking here.

Sitting in the North Stand?  Every seat will have a clap banner so you can help the #BlueAndWhiteArmy show our colours with a fantastic mosaic, as well as ramping up the atmosphere during the day...

To celebrate National Pie Week, you can head to the Royals Rendezvous between 6pm and 7.30pm, where if you buy a pint of Good Old Boy you can also purchase a steak pie for just £1!

Regardless of the result in Friday night’s Emirates FA Cup quarter-final against Crystal Palace, we would like to strongly remind both home and visiting supporters that any fans who enter the field of play or any adjacent area unauthorised will be subject to suspension and arrest.

Last season, an FA Appeal Board fined the club a total of £40,000 for misconduct in relation to supporter behaviour, charging us with failing to ensure no spectators or unauthorised persons were permitted to encroach onto the pitch when attending our FA Cup quarter-final replay against Bradford City at Madejski Stadium.

Reading Football Club are regularly among the clubs with the lowest number of arrests and banning orders in the division and we are also very proud of our supporters’ reputation for good behaviour, both at home and away. However, heeding the Independent Regulatory Commission’s warning about our future conduct, we want to stress to all home and away supporters that entering the pitch is a criminal offence, and that foul and abusive language and behaviour is not tolerated at Madejski Stadium.

Five supporters who came onto the pitch towards the end of our 4-3 win at Charlton last month have been suspended, pending a meeting with our internal safety officer, while Thames Valley Police recently arrested an individual in relation to a coin throwing incident in the away supporters’ end at Madejski Stadium following our Fifth Round win over West Bromwich Albion.

So win, lose or draw, we ask all supporters to please respect the ground regulations and, for the safety of players, coaching staff, stewards and supporters, we urge all home and visiting fans to remain in the seated areas of the stadium and the concourses throughout.

The best way to follow the game live is at Madejski Stadium in person, by getting behind the team!

But if you can’t make it to the match, you can listen to every pass, tackle and goal with live audio commentary on Reading FC PlayerHD for as little as £4.49 per month.  Not only that, but our online subscription also allows you access to extended match highlights and exclusive interviews which you won’t see anywhere else.

As ever, we’ll also provide live updates on our Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as looking out for our match photos on Instagram.

Head to Snapchat and find 'OfficialRFC' to follow our matchday story as it unfolds!

#BlueAndWhiteArmy – show your support by donning the blue and white against Palace!
McDermott’s pre-Palace press conference, in full – exclusively for PlayerHD subscribers – hear what the gaffer had to say to the media ahead of the game
Five Royals who also soared as an Eagle – we profile players that have represented both Reading and Friday’s visitors
Our path to round six – in case you missed a moment, we recount our journey so far
Brian hoping for third time lucky in quarters – the manager reflects on two quarter-final defeats and hopes to go a step further
Four times we’ve upset the Eagles’ nest – a look back to some of our recent wins against Palace
Rolling back the years to our five FA Cup quarter-finals – a review of our five previous appearances in this stage of the competition

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