The games are coming thick and fast in the Championship ahead of the league’s break for the World Cup. At the time of writing, hosts Reading are 11th in the table with eight wins and two draws from their opening 18 matches, coming into this match in unfortunate form.
Reading returned from the October international break pushing near the top of the table but defeat to QPR as the fixtures piled up started the Royals on a downward spiral. After losing to QPR, Reading also fell in defeats against West Brom and Swansea, before bringing the streak to an end by beating Bristol City. But Reading were unable to build on that, losing to Burnley before drawing with Luton last time out. It comes as part of a tough run of fixtures which sees Reading take on Watford and Hull before the World Cup break.
Preston, meanwhile, are seventh at the time of writing, level on points with Swansea City who occupy the final play-off spot – though the Welsh side do have a game in hand. For the first part of the season, Preston were not the team to watch, with five goalless draws in their opening 10 Championship matches, boasting the best defence but also the worst attack in the division.
They have now taken the shackles off slightly, understanding their results were not sustainable or good enough to push for a play-off spot, but it hasn’t been plain sailing. Since their last goalless draw, Preston have won five and lost three of their eight Championship matches, scoring 11 and conceding 11. They do go into this game on a two-match winning streak, recently beating Middlesbrough and Swansea.
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Reading vs Preston match stats
In recent matches, Reading have been slow to get going in attack but they have also been resolute defensively. It’s the second half of their matches which have proven decisive. In fact, each of Reading’s past three Championship matches have been goalless at half-time.
If the match is won in the second half, set pieces could prove vital. Neither Reading nor Preston have been heavy on the corners this season, but the Royals have a slightly better average with 4.83 corners per game to Preston’s 4.37. At the same time, Preston have conceded 5.68 corners per match to Reading’s 5.