Blues are hopeful that Keith Fahey and Jonathan Spector may be available for the playoffs but they will not make this game. Guriane N’Daw should return though.
Jason Roberts is suspended for Reading.
Blues went to the Madjeski in early November and despite having a lot of the game suffered a 1-0 defeat. Noel Hunt joined the ranks of players who always score against us with the winner in the second half.
Blues remain unbeaten in April but are now on a run of four successive draws. Three of the last four have been away though.
Reading have seemingly won every game in 2012 except for their last outing against Crystal Palace. They secured the title with a point in that game.
OK so let’s start with the maths.
If Blues win they will finish fourth unless Blackpool also win away at Millwall.
If Blues draw they can finish fourth only if Blackpool lose and Cardiff fail to win.
IF Blues lose they will finish 5th unless Cardiff win at Palace.
If Blues lose 12-0 and Middlesbrough win 12-0 they will finish 7th….Not too worried about that one.
Unlike recent last day battles it’s not so crucial as previous years as we are only playing to see who we face and when. Playing at home second gives a slight advantage so fourth is the target but that is not entirely in our hands. A sixth place finish could mean a tough fixture against West Ham but could also see us facing a deflated Southampton side should they fail to beat Coventry on Saturday. So I’m not going to worry who we face in the semis as we have to beat two of the three sides to reach the Premier League. I’d love another trip to Wembley so it would be gutting to fall at the semi-final stage.
The result of this match will depend a lot on how Reading respond having already won the title and how many of Blue’s walking wounded are available. There is an argument for not risking players in this one and to save them for the playoffs. I expect Reading to still give us a good game as regardless of them taking their foot off the gas a bit they are still the best team of the division. Jason Roberts was an inspired signing and in Adam LeFondre they have a super sub with a great goal per minute ratio. Most of their success though has been built on their defence which has conceded less than one goal per game this season.
So with this being the last league it’s time to celebrate what must have been the most enjoyable season for many years. There have been so many highs and memorable games. Considering the pre-season doom and gloom I expect most of us will be happy to be going into the last game fighting for fourth place. It looks like being a good crowd and I would expect a party atmosphere from both sets of fans. Even if we lose I do hope people still remain to give the squad a big hand afterwards as they really deserve it.
I’ve managed to predict the last two correctly for a change so I’m going to chance predicting a Blues win.
Blues 2 Reading 1
C’mon you Blue Boys.