The second full round of Championship fixtures following the World Cup break, Reading marked their return to competitive action with 1-0 win over Coventry last weekend courtesy of Amadou Salif Mbengue’s goal. It saw Reading restart the campaign as they left off, having beat Hull before the break, stringing together two consecutive league wins for the first time since the start of October.
Reading are now eighth, just two points and two places outside the play-off spots, capitalising on the teams above them dropping points. The Royals will now be hoping they can push on, starting with the game against Birmingham, as they look to secure a long-awaited return to the Premier League.
Birmingham, on the other hand, aren’t haven’t the season they will have hoped would come following the appointment of John Eustace with the Blues currently sitting in the bottom half of the table. But things are so tight in the Championship that Birmingham will have to keep an eye over their shoulders while also looking towards the play-offs.
Eustace’s men are currently 14th, just five points behind sixth-placed Preston, but they have fallen away from that battle slightly in recent times. Birmingham go into this game winless in their past three matches, marking their return following the break with a goalless draw against Blackpool. That result also leaves Birmingham just five points clear of the relegation zone, meaning they cannot afford to let this run go on for much longer.
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Birmingham vs Reading match stats
No team has kept a clean sheet in this fixture in six matches, with the past four finishing 2-1 (two wins apiece).
Dion Sanderson has been shown eight yellow cards in the Championship this season, with no player receiving more. His yellow cards have come with just 24 fouls committed, averaging a card for every three fouls.