There is one match in the Sky Bet Championship on Wednesday evening and it is a huge clash at the bottom end of the table when Peterborough United host Reading at London Road in a contest which will not just define the season of the two sides involved but also teams such as Derby County too.
These two sides are the two either side of the relegation mark and whoever wins this contest will end the evening outside the bottom three. A win for Reading will open up a five point gap between them and the bottom three. Peterborough will leapfrog the Royals with a win of their own.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football channels. The build-up begins at 7.30pm with the match kicking off at 7.45pm.
In their first season back in the Championship, Peterborough United were making a decent fist of securing a second campaign at this level in the early stages of it. Four wins from their opening 14 matches was a decent return but they have only won once in 15 since then and have fallen into a real slump. They have taken just six points from the last 45 available and are extremely fortunate that two sides have suffered point deductions else they might be gone already.
As it is those losses suffered by others have kept Posh alive but they are going to need to start winning matches soon if they are going to survive because at present it looks like being three from four for the drop. That run could really do with beginning here against one of the other four teams in the relegation picture. The worst thing that could happen for Peterborough is that they have stopped scoring goals. They have drawn a blank in four of their last five and having conceded the joint most goals in the division if they don’t get back to scoring soon their fate will be sealed pretty early.
You have to start to fear for Reading. The last 12-14 months for them have been awful. If you go back to sort of November 2020 they were in the play-off places and pushing for promotion. Those hopes faded with a terrible run of form in the second part of the season and that demise has continued into this one. Their off field issues have been highlighted a number of times and the six point deduction which resulted from them hasn’t helped but no side in the league are in as bad form as the Royals at present.
Reading have lost their last seven and are without a win in 10 matches, picking up just two points from a possible 30. They can be delighted with the fact that Barnsley and Peterborough United look out of their depth otherwise they would be in bigger trouble than they are. They have the chance to ease the pressure on themselves here and do at least have the knowledge that they are scoring goals. They just have to stop conceding them at the rate they are. No team can concede 24 in their last seven matches and survive.
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Peterborough are hoping to have defender Ronnie Edwards available for this match after he missed out at the weekend but Dan Butler, Mark Beevers and Jack Taylor are all injured. Jack Marriott and Jorge Grant started on the bench on Saturday and could be involved here.
Reading will be forced to make at least one change for this match as Junior Hoilett was dismissed in the loss to Coventry City at the weekend. There was good news in that match with the return of Yakou Meite but it remains to be seen whether this match comes too soon for him to start.
I find it hard to believe that there won’t be goals in this match. Both these two sides have conceded 60 goals this season so there isn’t going to be the possibility of shutting up shop and taking what they have at any point in the match, and the need to win the game should ensure that we get an open contest with the emphasis on attacking. It isn’t like a draw is any good to Reading because Peterborough have a game in hand which they could go above them with should they win it.
Peterborough have suddenly stopped scoring but to be fair to them their blanks have come against West Brom, Sheffield United, Cardiff and Preston. The first three are physical sides who teams new to this level struggle to match and the latter play nice football and keep the ball well. Reading fit neither of those categories so Posh should be able to trouble the scorers in this match. The Royals are getting key attacking options back so they should be too. I like over 2.5 goals in this one.
Back Over 2.5 goals for a 3/10 stake at 1.98 with Bet365