After success on the road last time out, we're back home at Madejski Stadium this weekend...
Reading vs Birmingham City
Sky Bet Championship
Saturday 7th December 2019
Following on from a remarkable turnaround away at the DW Stadium, Reading welcome Birmingham City to Madejski Stadium this weekend in the hope of taking back-to-back wins, and move to within a point of Saturday's opponents in the Sky Bet Championship table.
Pep Clotet was confirmed as Blues' new head coach in the week, having been in the role on a caretaker basis since the start of the season.
The last time the teams met came on the last day of the 2018-19 campaign, with the match effectively being a dead rubber as both teams had already confirmed their Championship survival.
Saturday's match will be straight back to business, however. Blues come into the weekend winless in their last five matches, although they have come from behind to draw twice in their last three games.
Reading, meanwhile, have won four out of seven under Mark Bowen so far, with the only dropped points on Bowen's home record being a late defeat against table-topping Leeds United 10 days ago.
Mark Bowen has confirmed that Ovie Ejaria will be fit for Saturday's match, after missing out last weekend through illness. Sam Baldock is also in the frame to be in the squad after being involved in training on Thursday, while John Swift is likely to be a longer-term absentee.
Lucas João will be pushing for a start up front after coming off the bench to return from injury at Wigan, with George Pușcaș hoping to build on his rapidly-taken hat-trick last weekend at the DW.
It's certain to be another crucial clash in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday, and we would love to see you here to back the boys this weekend.
You will have 50 chances to win a copy of Football Manager 2020 this weekend, and all you have to do to enter is buy a copy of your essential matchday companion, The Royal.
Inside 50 copies of our programme will be a winning message and a unique code for winners of the game, which if you are lucky enough to find, will need to take to our Fanstore to claim your prize. For further information about this fantastic giveaway, click here.
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.
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.
Tim Robinson will be on the whistle this weekend at Madejski Stadium, as the Sussex-based official takes charge of the Royals for the first time this season.
He has averaged around three yellow cards per game in his 13 matches so far in the Championship and the Carabao Cup this season, while only brandishing the red card for Fulham's Harry Arter for a second bookable offence against Cardiff City back in August.
Mr Robinson has already overseen a Blues match this term - a 1-0 loss away from home as they faced Wigan Athletic back in October.
The referee will be assisted on the touchlines by Ian Cooper and Robert Hyde, with Sam Lewis on hand as fourth official.
Food & Drink
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
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.