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MATCH PREVIEW

PUBLISHED
17:30 22nd May 2017
By  Adam Tomlinson

MATCH PREVIEW: READING PLAY-OFF FINAL (N)

Huddersfield Town faces Reading in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off final at Wembley on Monday 29 May 2017, 3pm kick-off.

David Wagner’s side progressed into the final after beating Sheffield Wednesday 4-3 on penalties at Hillsborough after coming from a goal behind in the second leg.

The Opposition

After finishing third in the Sky Bet Championship table, Reading faced sixth placed Fulham in the semi-finals of the Play-Offs.

The Royals took the lead at Craven Cottage through Jordan Obita, before a Tom Cairney strike meant it was all to play for in the second-leg.

Reading Stam 4_3

At the Madejski Stadium, Jaap Stam’s side ran out 1-0 winners after striker Yann Kermorgant put away a penalty early in the second half.

In the regular league season, Reading was a dominant figure in the Play-Off places accumulating 85 points from 46 matches.

Stam’s side ended the regular season in a good vein of form winning seven out of nine possible matches, which included victories over Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United.

Reading had the second best form at home this season earning six more points from Town, however away from home Stam’s side has picked up 32 points from 23 games; two less than Town and the sixth best in the league.

Reading’s Players to Watch

Attack minded midfielder John Swift has been influential for Reading this season and has been key in front of goal, scoring nine in all competitions. The 21 year-old also has five assists to his name and will look to be the creative force in the middle of the pitch for the Royals.

Striker Yann Kermorgant (below) has scored nine goals in his last 10 matches, including the winner against Fulham to send the Club into the final. The 35 year-old is strong in the air and will be a handful for the Town backline to deal with.

Reading Kermorgant 4_3

Garath McCleary will have to be closely monitored by the Town defence; he was the Royals’ second top scorer with nine and the Club’s top assist maker, also with nine.

Reading’s January Transfers

Reading brought in five new additions during the January transfer window, one of which was Tiago Ilori who signed for a Club record fee.

The centre back has since made seven appearances for Stam’s Royals and started in the back three in the win against Fulham.

The Royals bolstered its striker force bringing in Lewis Grabban on loan from Bournemouth and Adrian Popa for an undisclosed fee from Steaua Bucharest; the pair have scored four goals between them.

Jordan Mutch and Reece Oxford also joined the Club on loan from Crystal Palace and West Ham United respectively.

Reading’s Last League Line-Up (3-5-2):

GK Ali Al Habsi

DC Tiago Ilori
DC Liam Moore
DC Joey van den Berg

LWB Tyler Blackett
MC Daniel Williams
MC John Swift
MC George Evans
RWB Chris Gunter

S Yann Kermorgant
S Lewis Grabban

Team News: Reading

Paul McShane is suspended after receiving a straight red card in the first leg of the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off finals against Fulham.

23 year-old wing back Jordan Obita is a doubt after missing the second leg win against Fulham with an ankle injury.

Team News: Huddersfield Town

Kasey Palmer began full training with Huddersfield Town during the Club’s training camp in Portugal.

Kasey Palmer Portugal 4_3

However, both Philip Billing (knee) and Jon Gorenc Stanković (knee) will play no further part in the season.

Previous Meeting

Town ran out 1-0 winners the last time the two sides met this season; an 82nd minute winner from Philip Billing earned David Wagner’s side all three points at the John Smith’s Stadium. You can watch highlights below courtesy of HTTV.



Ticket News

For more information about Play-Off final tickets please click here!