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Reading v Boro

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Andy R
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After Boro abdicated responsibility at the weekend as another three points were throne away, we have an appointment with The Royals this Saturday at 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports.

Neil Warnock’s men were hoping they’d be-headed to the Madejski Stadium following successive wins as their season ig-knighted but instead fans are questioning the manager’s reign. Indeed, the only reference to royalty on Teesside of late has been a collective “Yer ‘king jokin’ arn yer?” as yet another pass went astray.

With a less than princely sum of just nine points on the board from eight games, jester couple above the early relegation spots, Boro fans can be forgiven for pulling their heir out.

Reading themselves started the season without much authority, losing four of their first five games, but have since galvanised to draw with QPR and beat Peterborough and Fulham in their last three outings. Now, despite having the worst defensive record in the division with eighteen goals conceded, they sit one point and two places above Boro. Unfortunately for us, it’s their home form that’s keeping them in the mix as they’ve won two and drawn one of their four games at The Madejski.

That said, reports are circulating that Reading will incur a nine-point deduction having broken profit and sustainability regulations which would leave them bottom of the table subject to whatever happens to Derby County, where a possible twenty-one point deduction could be taken. Perhaps fears of Boro finding themselves in a relegation scrap are a little hasty given the penalties rival clubs are lining up.

With question marks against the availability of Marc Bola, Paddy McNair and Anfernee Djiksteel, Neil Warnock may have a difficult selection puzzle to solve for this one, not helped by the fact that those who are fit haven’t been particularly well organised thus far. We can only hope that at least one of those three is ready to play – preferably Bola given that he’s our only senior left-back.

Further upfield, Matt Crooks has looked out of sorts in the last couple of games without big Uche Ikpeazu to play off, whilst James Lea Siliki has shown some good touches but hasn’t been able to maintain the required level for ninety minutes. Martin Payero, however, looked a level above in his brief cameo at the weekend and I wonder whether our best pairing in front of Howson - for this game at least - might be to play Marcus Tavernier in a more influential central role alongside Payero. Isiah Jones must surely return on the left wing and it may be that Duncan Watmore is the best option on the right to add some goal threat against Reading’s leaky backline.

With Reading looking reasonably secure at home and possibly motivated by their impending points penalty, this game looks a tough proposition for a Boro side struggling for any momentum. I suspect most Boro fans would take a draw if offered one but the reality is that we need to start winning games if this season is to be about anything other than mediocrity. At best.

So can Boro duke it out and serve up a right royal show to put Reading to the sword? ‘king hope so….


Allan in Bahrain
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Very well written and bang on the nail.


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MW in Darwin
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Great intro Andy.

Interestingly as well as having the worst defence in the Championship they have the leagues highest goal scorer,

John Swift who has 7 goals already. We have a pretty good record at the Madjeski and have won 5 on the trot there and 9 games without defeat against them, so what can go wrong. 


werdermouth
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Thanks for you noble efforts Andy, with a succession of well-crafted regal puns that crowned off a very fine preview!

This is another game that Boro would be hoping to gather three points but it sounds like Reading are no push-overs on their patch. The worry is whether Boro's likely makeshift defence can withstand the Reading attack, which has netted 10 times in their four home games this season.

I was a little concerned to read that Warnock experimented with Sol Bamba this week - after the 36-year old played an hour as left-back for the U23s. If Bola is still not fit and Dijksteel's is hamstrung, then we may see the combined age of our full-backs at Reading that is nearly as old as the manager with Bamba at left-back and Peltier at right-back.

While Warnock said Peltier was a manager's dream this week, the prospect of his two old pros playing as full-backs sounds something of a nightmare scenario, which is hopefully not a recurring one.

As for who else starts is open for debate - if it's 4-2-3-1 then Payero and Howson would be my choice in midfield with the other four positions in attack something of difficult choice. If I was to go with who I thought would be the best player in each of those positions then I'd  go Jones on the left, Hernandez on the right, Tav in the number ten role and Sporar up front.

However, that choice may not necessarily be the best combination with no real physical presence or height to challenge the opposition defence. For that reason I'd be inclined to play Ikpeazu up top to hold onto the ball and bring others into play and move Sporar to wide right as he often likes to run that channel anyway. Another option would be to play Crooks as the number ten and put Tav on the right.

Just what Warnock decided is hard to say given he likes his new recruits of Hernandez and Siliki - plus Watmore is a busy player too. My worry is that Jones will be the one to miss out again - I only hope whoever plays, the manager makes his substitutions early and keeps the energy levels on the pitch high.

Prediction: not confident that we'll win this one if we do it might require the team to score three goals - which hasn't happened that often under Warnock. Fingers crossed!

 


deleriad
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Can't say I have much confidence about this. Hopefully that will lead to a typical boro revolution and we'll win comfortably.

Watched the highlights of the U23s and Bamba certainly did go haring up the left like a man half of his age a few times. Admittedly half of his age is still no spring chicken.

In case Neil Warnock is reading this forum to find out what to do, I'm going to keep pushing for 3-1-4-2 as our best formation. Based on possible injuries that would mean:

Lumley

Fry Hall McNair/Peltier (assuming Bola and Dijks are still unfit).

Howson/McNair

Hernandez Payero Tav Jones

Uche Sporar

I think Crooks' performances have dropped off recently and I believe that Hernandez prefers playing on the right. Key thing is that Hernandez and Jones are playing as wingers not wingbacks. It is of course yet another different midfield pairing but I think Payero showed enough to justify a start.

Can't predict Warnock's actual line up. Reading seem to play 4-2-3-1. Warnock is known for matching up opponents and also for trying to surprise them. Mostly the latter seems to just confuse his own teams. My guess is that he will go 3 at the back, have Tav and Jones/Bola as wingbacks then change it half-way through the first half.


Original Fat Bob
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Many thanks Andy 

Appreciated by all us Diasborians 

 

OFB


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K P in Spain
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Thanks Andy for a right royal opener in all the senses of the word.

I am finding it difficult to be positive about anything Boro at the moment and am quite disillusioned; so much so that I am currently on a short Spanish golfing holiday and due to return home on Saturday. I am in two minds whether or not to dash back to watch the match live or (recorder already set) record it and then delete it without watching if we lose.

Given our current form a draw would be good but the law of averages says our good results at Reading have to come to an end sooner or later!

Sol Bamba may be able to cope at left back at U23 level but not in the Championship and NW needs to find another way of plugging a long standing problem hole if Bola is not fit.

Payero and Jones have to start for me as they injected more life into us during their short time on the pitch last time out.

Sporar should start but unless he gets plenty of quality service then he is going to end up like so many good strikers that Boro have recruited and ruined.

Regrettably, it is 2-0 to Reading as I don't see an untypical Boro coming to the rescue. 😎☹️


Redcar Red
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Great opener Andy which will likely be far more enjoyable than the game itself. I suspect we may go with a back three due to lack of numbers or a makeshift four with Peltier at RB and a.n. other at LB.

Warnock may be safe for the time being in his role with SG but he is running out of time with the fans patience as we are close to averaging less than a point a game with the very real likelihood that despite their deductions today Derby could still make up the 11 point gap.

Warnock needs a win, a draw will just frustrate the fans further as we slip down a few more places in the table.


Plato
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@redcarred

I hav

 


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jarkko
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Just read that 37 year old Kei Kamara scored a brace yesterday. He played for Helsinki IFK in the Helsinki derby against HJK. 

HJK are top of the Finnish league and also play in Europe this season. So the 0-2 win was great for the much smaller HIFK. Kamara has now scored five goals in his seven matches since signing for the Finnish team.

Also Emmanuel Ledesma, 33, played in the Finnish top league for Seinäjoki on a one year contract but he have now returned to Argentina for personal reason to be close his family. He was very popular and succesful in his half-a-season stay.

Up the Boro! 

 


Ken Smith
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Not much of a Boro interest from me this weekend with the Ryder Cup in full swing so won’t be watching the match. Probably a wise choice anyway as Boro will probably concede 3 goals in another defeat as instead of trying to get into the top six, we maybe should be looking to avoid the bottom six despite the points deductions for Derby and Reading. Completely disillusioned with what his happening at the moment with all these ‘square pegs in round holes’ selection proposals. When is Warnock going to bring academy players into the side? 

However pleased to see that Marske United have earned a home FA Cup tie against Chester in the third qualifying round, though pity it isn’t against Darlington who lost their replay against the Seals this week.


exmil
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It seems Boro are not the only team with defensive issues, Reading have all their senior center backs injured:

https://www.getreading.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/reading-fc-centre-back-crisis-21656361

Come on BORO.


werdermouth
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@exmil

Well, Boro have no excuses for not scoring a few at Reading - the worst defence in the Championship now has no fit senior centre-backs!


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werdermouth
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Just noticed that Boro will actually not be heading to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday - they will instead be driving down to the rather less majestic Select Car Leasing Stadium after it was renamed back in July. I look forward to seeing Boro play at the WeSellAnyStadium.com in the near future...


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Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @werdermouth

... I look forward to seeing Boro play at the WeSellAnyStadium.com in the near future...

Haven't we played at WR's Derby County already Werder?


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werdermouth
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@powmillnaemore

I think you are confusing Derby with WePretendToSellAnyStadium.com 🙂

Incidentally, I read this morning that Steve Gibson is still pushing for further sanctions against Derby for breaching FFP and are taking legal action against them for their supposed stadium sale for £81m to a subsidiary owned by Mel Morris. Gibson claims Derby have in the past hijacked Boro deals by offering players much higher salaries that they couldn't pay and keep within the spending rules. He's also critical of the EFL for not enforcing their own financial fair play rules.

This post was modified 1 month ago by werdermouth

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John Richardson
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Andy, just got back from an IT/computer free week fishing in the Wye Valley and the first thing I read was your headliner. Very good indeed and about the only only thing to laugh about where the Boro are concerned.

Boro should win shouldn't they? Really who knows what they'll do, they are the epitome of inconsistency and frustration for the long suffering fans, so much so that I'm not going to even attempt a prediction.

Now do I switch the Mac off...

UTB,

John


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werdermouth
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So Dijksteel has been ruled out until at least the end of October - though Bola has trained fully this week so it looks like Peltier will be playing at right-back.

Warnock is cautious about Bola but really has no other options - when asked about Sol Bamba playing at left-back for the U23s the Boro manager said: "He said to me after, 'I hope I never ever have to play left-back again gaffer'! It was only for 30 minutes, but I can assure you I actually agree with him."

At least there's another international break on 4 October but that's still seven fixtures where Boro will be hoping Bola doesn't break down and 34-year old Peltier can keep fit!


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werdermouth
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btw I've seen quite a few comments in other places demanding why Neil Warnock hasn't already recalled Djed Spence from his loan at Forest.

Well, EFL loan rules only allow the recall of season-long loaned players and only if such a clause was entered into the loan agreement - plus the recall can only happen in the January Transfer Window. So Djed Spence is not an option.


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exmil
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John Richardson:

Boro should win shouldn't they? Really who knows what they'll do, they are the epitome of inconsistency and frustration for the long suffering fans, so much so that I'm not going to even attempt a prediction.

I am sure Fulham fans were very positive they would win at home against Reading before that Peterborough and QPR fans would have been too. I wonder, John, why you think we should win away at Reading 🤔.

Come on BORO.


exmil
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Posted by: @werdermouth

btw I've seen quite a few comments in other places demanding why Neil Warnock hasn't already recalled Djed Spence from his loan at Forest.

Well, EFL loan rules only allow the recall of season-long loaned players and only if such a clause was entered into the loan agreement - plus the recall can only happen in the January Transfer Window. So Djed Spence is not an option.

Hopefully by January (even if it’s in the sales) our full back problems will be solved without the need to call anyone back.

Come on BORO.


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K P in Spain
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Next Tuesday's match at home again against Sheffield Utd has been chosen to be broadcast by Sky so will not be available to video stream via Riverside Live.

The away match at Cardiff and the home game against Peterborough next month have also been chosen for tv broadcast so will also not be available to video stream albeit audio commentary is available via Riverside Live. 😎


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werdermouth
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@k-p-in-spain

So basically 4 of the next 6 games of our Matchday Live subscription are not available for us to watch - if there weren't unofficial streams I'd be seriously annoyed 🤬 😉 


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werdermouth
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@exmil

I doubt Warnock would even recall either Spence or Coulson - maybe we could see Howson at right-back again with McNair moving to midfield. Though, come January I'd expect to see someone lined up to be brought in.


John Richardson
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@exmil

I don't know what they will do and I certainly don't think the win is guaranteed, or even a draw. Based on their good recent record against Reading it's probably a guaranteed defeat. Lottery doesn't even come into it with this team. Some years ago I was at a game at the Madejski Stadium with a Reading supporting friend when I lived in Berkshire and Boro were 0-2 up and still lost 3-2. that's Boro. Or should that be typical Boro?

UTB,

John


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Philip of Huddersfield
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Injuries are just part of the game.  NW can’t really complain about a shortage of full backs as he let replacements leave.   Also players need to be adaptable and be able to play in more than one position.

I hope injuries aren’t an excuse for defeat as Reading have far more injuries than Boro.

So , what will tomorrow bring?
Probably like most supporters , I’ve no idea. I wouldn’t be surprised at all at any of the three results.

But  I’m hoping  NW’s post match comments don’t include the usual -  “ we played some good stuff today, I really enjoyed watching us play,  we had lots of chances to score, they only had one shot in the first half, the goals they scored weren’t due to tactics but players making mistakes, we should have beaten Blackburn, Coventry and Blackpool “   etc.

If the team are to make any progress up the League then an unbeaten run has got to start tomorrow - unfortunately I’d not bank on it.

Philip of Huddersfield 


K P in Spain
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@werdermouth.  I am fortunate in that I still have Sky TV so can watch the matches they broadcast but when the EFL sell matches to their international partners then I have to rely upon you and other Diasboro for unofficial streams. 😉😎


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Selwynoz
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Posted by: @k-p-in-spain

@werdermouth.  I am fortunate in that I still have Sky TV so can watch the matches they broadcast but when the EFL sell matches to their international partners then I have to rely upon you and other Diasboro for unofficial streams. 😉😎

Here in Oz the Reading and Sheffield United games are being shown live on Bein sports and so I assume that they will be available anywhere else that Bein sports have soccer rights.

It’s about time that we saw Payero strutting his stuff and so I’m going for a 2-0 win with Payero getting a direct free kick and Sporar getting another.

utb


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MW in Darwin
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Looking forward to being able to see the game live as it is on at a reasonable time here in Darwin, although not sure if I am going to go to bed happy or not. Interesting referee appointment today, Peter Bankes who has only refereed  in the Premier League and Europe this season. I wonder if NW will find him acceptable. Looking at when he refereed us previously he doesn't seem to have any controversial games although he did have our game against Wednesday in 2017 which we won and Monk was sacked the next day. Also saw that the U23's played last night and Kokolo played so not travelled to reading but Connor Malley didn't play so probably travelled as midfield cover.


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Original Fat Bob
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Posted by: @andy-r

After Boro abdicated responsibility at the weekend as another three points were throne away, we have an appointment with The Royals this Saturday at 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports.

Neil Warnock’s men were hoping they’d be-headed to the Madejski Stadium following successive wins as their season ig-knighted but instead fans are questioning the manager’s reign. Indeed, the only reference to royalty on Teesside of late has been a collective “Yer ‘king jokin’ arn yer?” as yet another pass went astray.

With a less than princely sum of just nine points on the board from eight games, jester couple above the early relegation spots, Boro fans can be forgiven for pulling their heir out.

Reading themselves started the season without much authority, losing four of their first five games, but have since galvanised to draw with QPR and beat Peterborough and Fulham in their last three outings. Now, despite having the worst defensive record in the division with eighteen goals conceded, they sit one point and two places above Boro. Unfortunately for us, it’s their home form that’s keeping them in the mix as they’ve won two and drawn one of their four games at The Madejski.

That said, reports are circulating that Reading will incur a nine-point deduction having broken profit and sustainability regulations which would leave them bottom of the table subject to whatever happens to Derby County, where a possible twenty-one point deduction could be taken. Perhaps fears of Boro finding themselves in a relegation scrap are a little hasty given the penalties rival clubs are lining up.

With question marks against the availability of Marc Bola, Paddy McNair and Anfernee Djiksteel, Neil Warnock may have a difficult selection puzzle to solve for this one, not helped by the fact that those who are fit haven’t been particularly well organised thus far. We can only hope that at least one of those three is ready to play – preferably Bola given that he’s our only senior left-back.

Further upfield, Matt Crooks has looked out of sorts in the last couple of games without big Uche Ikpeazu to play off, whilst James Lea Siliki has shown some good touches but hasn’t been able to maintain the required level for ninety minutes. Martin Payero, however, looked a level above in his brief cameo at the weekend and I wonder whether our best pairing in front of Howson - for this game at least - might be to play Marcus Tavernier in a more influential central role alongside Payero. Isiah Jones must surely return on the left wing and it may be that Duncan Watmore is the best option on the right to add some goal threat against Reading’s leaky backline.

With Reading looking reasonably secure at home and possibly motivated by their impending points penalty, this game looks a tough proposition for a Boro side struggling for any momentum. I suspect most Boro fans would take a draw if offered one but the reality is that we need to start winning games if this season is to be about anything other than mediocrity. At best.

So can Boro duke it out and serve up a right royal show to put Reading to the sword? ‘king hope so….

 


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