Meet the opposition | Reading

29th December
First team
Reading

As Swansea City prepare to meet Reading in their final fixture of 2020, we take a closer look at the Royals.

What's their story?

The Royals have been absent from the Premier League since the 2012-2013 season, and came closest to regaining top-flight status in 2016-2017, losing 4-3 on penalties to Huddersfield Town in the play-off final.

The Berkshire-based club have struggled to challenge for a play-off spot since, finishing 20th in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.

However, having started brightly under new boss Veljko Paunovic, the Reading faithful will hope the squad can emulate the success of their 2011-2012 promotion-winning side.

How's their form?

 

Lucas Joao

At the time of writing, Reading are sixth in the Championship, with 11 wins, three losses and seven draws since the start of the new campaign.

The Royals have lost three of their last six fixtures, having tailed off after a magnificent start saw them hold a clear lead over the pack.

Their form away from home has been up and down, with one win, one loss and two draws in their last four, however they have managed at least one goal in every one of those fixtures.

Who's the boss?

Veljko Paunovic

Veljko Paunovic. Ex-Atletico Madrid forward Paunovic was announced as Reading manager in August of this year. He has previously had stints at the helm of Chicago Fire, Serbia Under-18s, Under-19s and Under-20s, the latter of whom he went on to win their World Cup in 2015 with.

As a player, the Serbian enjoyed spells in the top tiers of Spain, Russia, Germany and the United States with Rubin Kazan, Hannover 96, Partizan, Getafe, Almeria, Philadelphia Union and Atletico Madrid.

Who's the captain?

Liam Moore

Liam Moore. Defender Moore left Premier League champions Leicester City in August 2016, in search of a new challenge. He had worn the captain’s armband for the Foxes’ youth team before getting his first senior call-up against Crystal Palace in 2012.

The centre-half earned himself the Royals’ player of the season award at the tail-end of the 2017-2018 campaign, after helping them avoid relegation to League One. He has been a mainstay of their side ever since, and was made skipper for the 2019-20 season.

Who are the key men?

 

Midfielder Ovie Ejaria has proven to be crucial for Reading since he signed permanently - following a fine loan spell - in August. The former Liverpool man has made 22 key passes this season and has bagged two goals for himself, marking himself out as their creative fulcrum.

Portuguese forward Lucas João has made a terrific start to the season with 11 goals to his name. João signed for Reading in 2019, just three days after scoring against them for Sheffield Wednesday.

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