We prepare to welcome Premier League opposition to Madejski StadiumReading will take on Premier League opposition in AFC Bournemouth when Eddie Howe’s south coast side travel to Madejski Stadium for a pre-season curtain-raiser on Friday 29th July, kick-off 8pm.
The Cherries achieved top flight security in their first Premier League season in 2015-16, finishing in 16th place with 42 points last season.
Along the way, Howe’s men beat West Ham, Chelsea, Manchester United and Southampton and – after their season ended a little later than initially expected at Old Trafford last Tuesday night - they will now look to prepare for their second season amongst the elite with a trip to the Madejski at the end of July.
The Royals’ last win over Bournemouth came in March 2000, when Howe himself played a part in a 2-0 defeat at Madejski Stadium – Darren Caskey and Nicky Forster were on target with first half goals that won all three points for the Royals that afternoon.
The two teams have only met four times in the last 14 years – however the Cherries emerged triumphant on all four occasions, winning home and away against Reading in 2013-14 and 2014-15. The last of those clashes came in April 2015, when a Callum Wilson goal separated the sides as Bournemouth headed towards the Championship title.
The fixture could herald the return of a couple of former Royals – goalkeeper Adam Federici is currently on the Cherries’ books of course, while striker Benik Afobe spent a spell on loan here as he played a small part in our 2011-12 promotion-winning side. Striker Glenn Murray was also at Reading for a spell in 2014 before joining the Cherries last September.
French forward Yann Kermorgant, meanwhile, will get the chance to face his former employers in the friendly fixture, should he be chosen to start up front for the Royals in a couple of months’ time.
Reading have already confirmed two other pre-season fixtures – an away trip to National League outfit Boreham Wood at Meadow Park on Saturday 9th July, kick-off 3pm and an away clash with local rivals Swindon Town on Tuesday 19th July, kick-off 7.45pm.
Details of further pre-season friendlies will be unveiled throughout the course of the coming days and weeks, so please stay tuned to the official website if you want to ensure you pencil every date into your diary this summer.
Ticket prices for the Bournemouth fixture and all of the club’s other pre-season matches will be announced in due course.