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Match Previews

🔜 Ahead of the game | Rooney's Rams up next in RG2

A preview of our encounter at Madejski Stadium

5 April 2021

Bookending our Easter is a visit from Derby County; our next opportunity to earn three important points as we reach the 40-match mark. Only a few more fixtures left in our 2020-21 campaign.

And while Wayne Rooney's side have endured a tricky season to date, there is still quality strewn throughout the squad; plenty to be wary of for our team as we return to RG2 for the first time in over a fortnight.

By hook or by crook, there's only one objective this Easter Monday: to come away with the victory.

How to watch

Derby iFollow.jpg

This fixture is available for supporters all over the world to watch on iFollow. No matter where you are, you can see the team in action and lend your support as we approach an exciting crescendo to our campaign.

Click here to head to the subscription page where you can purchase your Match Pass, as well as viewing passes available for future games.

The opposition

A turbulent season for the East Midlands outfit - and work yet to be done to ensure they remain in the Championship for another campaign. They swapped one high-profile manager for another in November - and since Wayne Rooney replaced Phillip Cocu, the Rams have managed an upturn in results.

But just a single win in the first 11 fixtures means that Derby are still making up ground on their slow start. So with just over half a dozen matches to play, points are still required to get over the line.


A terrific spell of six wins in eight games across January and February even gave some outside hope of a top-half push, but a winless run of seven going into the most recent international weekend meant that it's all about trying to take some positive momentum into the summer.

One to watch: Colin Kazim-Richards

After almost a decade outside of England, 34-year-old forward Kazim-Richards returned to these shores to joint Derby last summer - and is presently the Rams' leading scored this season.

Leaving for Fenerbahce in 2007, the London-born hitman plied his trade all over the globe - seeing action in Turkey, France, Greece, Netherlands, Scotland, Brazil and Mexico.


And his goals for Derby this season have been vital, too. Match-deciding goals against QPR, Bristol City and Middlesbrough and a draw-saving strike against neighbours Nottingham Forest ensured that Kazim-Richards' return to England has been marked with important moments.


On the whole, we've had a mixed bag of results against the Rams in recent seasons. And a lot of water has passed under the bridge since our opening-day encounter, where goals by Ovie Ejaria and Lucas Joao grabbed us the first three points of many this season!


Last season's 3-0 win against Derby - aided by a fourth-minute red card by Scott Malone - was the first time in eight attempts that we managed to beat the Rams on our patch; the season before, Frank Lampard had begun his managerial career with a last-gasp winner, courtesy of Tom Lawrence, to earn a 2-1 win.

Amazingly, it wasn't until 1984 that we met in league competition - a goalless encounter at Elm Park - and the only other fixtures were a couple of League Cup meetings in the 1965-66 season.

This will be our 50th meeting in all competitions - we've won 25, lost 15, and shared the spoils the other nine times to date.

Ref watch

A regular arbiter of Premier League matches, Jonathan Moss takes charge of this one on Easter Monday.

Indeed, it is his first visit to Madejski Stadium since our last Premier League campaign - he was man in the middle for our 2-1 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa back in 2013, when Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor turned the game around for the visitors after Nathan Baker had inadvertently turned into his own net.


Marc Perry and Adam Crysell will be in support as assistants, and John Brooks mans the fourth official's board.

In his 25 games ahead of the Easter schedule, Moss had shown 65 yellow cards - but had not found cause to reach for a red this season. The exception being Aston Villa boss Dean Smith, who was dismissed in their trip to the Etihad in January.

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.


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