Meet the opposition | Reading

26th September 2019
First team

As Swansea City prepare to take on Reading on Saturday (3pm), here's a closer look at the Royals.

What's their story?

Lucas Joao

Having enjoyed two spells in the Premier League, Reading are now in their seventh-straight season in the Championship.

The Royals were in the top-flight from 2006 to 2008, and again for the 2012-13 campaign.

They came close to securing a third promotion to the Premier League in 2017, only to suffer the heartbreak of losing to Huddersfield on penalties.

Swans fans will need no reminding that they also inflicted Wembley misery on the Berkshire club back in 2011, as Scott Sinclair’s hat-trick propelled Brendan Rodgers’ side to an unforgettable promotion.

The Royals have never won a major honour.

How’s their form?

John Swift

Mixed. The Royals have impressed on occasions, claiming an emphatic 3-0 win over Cardiff, before picking up a point at West Brom and then winning at Huddersfield.

But they face Swansea on the back of three-consecutive defeats against Charlton, Middlesbrough and Blackburn.

Those results have seen them fall to 20th in the table ahead of this weekend’s fixture.

Who’s the boss?

Jose Gomes

Jose Gomes. The experienced Gomes was handed the reins just before Christmas 2018 after leaving Portuguese club Rio Ave.

The 48-year-old helped get the Berskhire club out of trouble and led them to an eventual 20th-place finish, seven points clear of the drop zone.

Gomes is well travelled and has worked at Porto and Benfica in his homeland, while he was also an assistant manager at Malaga and Panathinaikos.

He recently had spells coaching in Saudi Arabia, helping Al Ahli to win the Saudi Super Cup in 2016, before returning to Portugal.

Who are the key men?

George Puscas

The Royals made a few eye-catching summer acquisitions, but probably none as intriguing as George Puscas.

He arrived from Italian giants Inter Milan for a fee of £7.5million, and already has three goals to his name for his new club.

Reading also snapped up Lucas Joao from Championship rivals Sheffield Wednesday, with the Portuguese forward scoring on his debut at Hull.

Ovie Ejaria is back for a second loan spell at the Madejski and the England Under-20 World Cup winner – where he played alongside Swansea keeper Freddie Woodman – has looked sharp as he gains more experience away from parent club Liverpool.

At the back they have ex-Napoli keeper Rafael Cabral to call upon, while centre-half Michael Morrison joined from Birmingham over the summer.