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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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