Meet the Opposition| Reading
As Swansea City prepare to host Reading at the Swansea.com Stadium, we look at the history, form and the key figures of the club known as the Royals.
What's their story?
Established in 1871, Reading is one of the oldest football clubs in England. Their passage into the Football League, however, did not come until 1920, having previously plied their trade in the Southern League.
After many years in the lower tiers of the Football League, the Royals achieved top-flight status for the first time in 2006.
Reading’s first season in the Premier League was impressive, finishing in eighth position, an all-time high for the club. This, however, proved to be a false dawn with Steve Coppell’s side relegated back to the Championship the following season after finishing in 18th position.
The Royals returned to the Premier League elite in the 2011-12 season after winning the Championship title. However, their stint was again shortlived, returning to the second tier after just a single campaign, and they have remained in the Championship since.
The Royals equalled their best cup run in 2015, reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the second time, unluckily losing to Arsenal 2-1 at Wembley Stadium.
How's their form?
After a strong start recent form has been more of a mixed bag. There have been two wins, two defeats and and one draw in the last five games but Reading remain in the play-off places.
Paul Ince's side are one point and two places better off than the Swans a placing, and they have recorded some impressive results, including a 3-0 win over Blackburn
But, like a number of sides in the division this term, they have had some difficult days, including 4-0 defeats at Sheffield United and Rotherham.
Who’s the gaffer?
Former Manchester United and England midfielder Paul Ince is the man in charge at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, taking the reins following the dismissal of Veljko Paunovic in February.
Ince, won a glut of trophies as a player, including two Premier League and two FA Cups with Manchester United.
He also played for West Ham, Inter Milan, Liverpool, Middlesbrough and Wolves before hanging up his boots.
During his coaching career the former England international had previously had spells in charge of Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool, Macclesfield Town and MK Dons, winning the Football League Trophy with the latter in 2008.
Who's the captain?
Ghana international Andy Yiadom is the new skipper for the Royals this season.
The fans' player of the season for the 2021-22 campaign Yiadom, who once came close to a move to the Swans in 2017, has made 129 appearances for the Royals since joining as a free agent in 2018.
After initially representing England at ‘C’ level in 2015, Holloway-born Yiadom switched allegiance to Ghana, the country of his parents' birth, making his debut and winning the first of 24 caps in a 1-0 African Nations Cup defeat to Egypt in 2017.
Who are the key men?
Portuguese born striker Lucas João is seasoned campaigner in the Championship having featured for Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn and Reading since moving from his homeland.
Last year's top scorer for the Royals, João is leading the charts again for the Royals with three goals to his name so far this season and has 38 in 88 appearances in total since his undisclosed move from the Owls in 2019.
An international at every level with Portugal, João has recently switched allegiances to African nation Angola and was named in recent summer squads against Guinea Bissau and Equitorial Guinea, where he made his debut as a second-half substitute.
In attack he links up with veteran ex-Liverpool, Newcastle and England striker Andy Carroll, who rejoined the Royals on a short-term contract in September.
The 6ft 4in 33-year-old's aerial presence and hold-up play make him a handful, and he has proving a thorn in Swansea's side over the years with six goals to his name against Tuesday's hosts.
Carroll, a player with a wealth of Premier League experience, amassed over 300 appearances in the Premier League in his spells at Newcastle, Liverpool and West Ham over a 16-year career, also appearing for his country on nine occasions.
The striker's 2011 move to Liverpool by then manager Kenny Dalglish broke the British transfer record as they shelled out £35million for the Gateshead-born player.
Injuries would stymie his time at Anfield, but his experience and presence have seen him make a real impact at Reading.
Son of manager Paul, Tom Ince will be looking to provide a creative spark in the middle of the park with John Swift having departed for West Brom.
Swift registered 11 goals and 13 assists last term, but Ince has started the season brightly with a pair of goals and assists to his name already.
Having joined initially on loan in the January transfer window, Ince made his move permanent to the Select Car Leasing Stadium in the summer, after his release from Stoke City.
Another with no shortage of experience, Ince has previously featured for Derby County, Stoke, Luton, Huddersfield, Nottingham Forest, Hull City, Crystal Palace and Blackpool, where he scored 31 goals in 100 games from midfield.