Jaap Stam’s Reading host QPR at the Madejski Stadium tomorrow night in the Sky Bet Championship.
Both sides will be looking to pick up three points in the encounter but for very different reasons.
Reading have been a new side under Stam. Although at first fans became frustrated by Stam’s philosophies which he has imposed upon the club, the Dutchman stuck to what he believes in and it’s paid off. The Berkshire based club currently sit in third place and will want to keep the pressure on first placed Brighton and second placed Newcastle with three points against Ian Holloway’s side. These are the kind of games which should be a routine victory for a side who are still in with a real sniff of automatic promotion back to the Premier League this season.
As for QPR, it’s been a sorry state of affairs over the last few months. When new manager Ian Holloway came in, things looked to be on the up with a win against Norwich in his first game back. However, the side then went seven games without a win before a 2-1 win against Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich on 2nd January. The club loiters dangerously in 17th place and will be hopeful of snatching something on their travels to pull them further away from that forbidden relegation zone.
The game in numbers:
1 – Amount of games Reading currently have in hand on the club above them, Newcastle. This emphasises even more the need for three points.
1.5 – Average amount of goals per game scored by Jaap Stam’s side this season.
5 – Points between QPR and the relegation zone.
6 – Amount of points Reading are behind second-placed Newcastle in the automatic promotion spots.
8 – The amount of goals scored by Reading’s top scorer, Garath McCleary. He’ll be hoping to carry on his fine season with a goal against struggling QPR.
26 – The age of QPRs new signing Kazenga LuaLua, who will stay at Loftus Road until the end of the season. The fans will be hopeful he can have an impact straight away in tomorrow’s game.
50 – Cards picked up by QPR players this season (46 yellow and 4 red)
57 – Cards picked up by Reading players this season (54 yellow and 3 red)
2019 – The year that Ali Al-Habsi’s contract has been extended to by Reading this month. The goalkeeper has been a key part in the team’s success so far this season and will be looking to carry that on against lowly QPR.
2250 – Minutes played by the ever present Alex Smithies this season, the highest amount of any QPR player. Tomorrow he faces the tough task of keeping a clean sheet against a lively Reading attack.