Meet the opposition: Reading

25th October 2018
First team

​​​​​​​As Swansea City get set to welcome Reading to the Liberty on Saturday (3pm), we take a closer look at the men from the Madejski Stadium.

Who are they?

This is Reading’s sixth season in the Championship after they dropped out of the Premier League in 2013.

Their relegation was their second from the top flight in six years.

Having been promoted to the highest level for the first time in 2006, Reading finished eighth in their maiden Premier League season, but dropped back to the second tier the following season.

They reached the Championship play-offs in 2009 and then again in 2011, when they were beaten 4-2 in the final by Brendan Rodgers’s Swans, before winning the league 12 months later.

They almost made it back to the Premier League in 2016-17, but lost in the play-off final once more, this time on penalties to Huddersfield Town.

Reading have never won a major honour, and spent much of their time in the lower divisions prior to the 1990s.

 

How’s their form?

Reading have endured a tricky start to their Championship campaign, having to wait seven matches for their first win of the season.

After picking up a maiden win at Preston in September, Reading have also beaten Hull City and Millwall, who went down 3-1 at the Madejski last Saturday.

But there was disappointment for the Royals at Birmingham in midweek as they were beaten 2-1 – their eighth defeat in 14 league games this term.

They have taken away points at Blackburn, Aston Villa and Brentford.

 

Who’s their boss?

A man who needs no introduction to Swans fans, Paul Clement.

He was appointed Reading boss in March, three months after leaving his post at the Swans.

Clement replaced Jaap Stam, who left the Madejski by mutual consent following a run of poor results.

Before being appointed Swansea boss, Clement developed a close relationship with Carlo Ancelotti.

Clement worked alongside the Italian at Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, and has coached some of the world’s greatest players.

His first managerial job came with Derby in 2015 where, despite sitting fifth in the table in February, Clement lost his job after picking up one win in seven games.

He had a successful start to life at the Liberty, landing the Premier League manager of the month award in his first month in charge.

Though the Swans were in a perilous position when he took over, Clement kept the club in the top flight in 2016-17.

But after his team struggled for form in the first half of last season, Clement departed after less than a year in charge.

 

Who are the key men?

Clement has already used three keepers this season, with experienced Finn Anssi Jaakola playing the last couple of games following injury issues for Sam Walker and Vito Mannone.

Liam Moore, who was reportedly a target for Brighton in the summer, and Tiago Ilori have been regulars at the heart of the Royals’ defence, while close-season recruit Andy Yiadom has featured in every game so far this term.

Ex-Aston Villa man Leandro Bacuna and young Irishman Liam Kelly are among Clement’s midfield options.

Iceland international Jon Dadi Bodvarsson is Reading’s top goalscorer with seven goals to his name so far this season – including four in his last four games.

He is followed by Sam Baldock, who has netted four times for the Royals since a summer move from Brighton.

Former Swan Modou Barrow, who scored 10 times for Reading last season, is another option for Clement, though he has not even made the bench in their last two games.

 

* Tickets for the Swans' clash with Reading on Saturday (3pm) are still available. To get yours, click HERE.