Championship leaders Newcastle travel to play-off chasing Reading on Tuesday night, hoping to extend their lead at the top of the table to eight points.
It’s a tale of the best records in the Championship when these two teams meet. Newcastle have the best away record in the league, with 13 wins on their travels, while Reading have the best home record having lost just twice at the Madejski Stadium all season. Something has to give.
Newcastle have nailed down a five-point lead over Brighton at the top of the table, following their 2-1 victory over the Seagulls last week. Anything other than automatic promotion is now unthinkable for their fans.
On the other hand, Reading struggled against Wolves on Saturday and they’ve by no means secured a play-off spot. They’re seven points clear of Fulham in seventh, but they’ll need another four wins from their remaining 11 games to secure their spot.
Reading vs. Newcastle Predictions
Newcastle don’t need the ball to win matches and are more than comfortable defending and then hitting opponents on the break. They dominate midfield with Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey dictating play and wearing out the opposition.
Reading vs. Newcastle Betting Tips
With it being the best home record against the best away record, then you’d be forgiven for thinking that a draw, priced at 49/20, would be the end result. Reading are priced at 3/1 to win the game, while Newcastle are available at 20/21.
Head to Head
- After winning their first two league games against Newcastle at the Madejski Stadium, Reading have failed to win either of their most recent two (D1 L1).
- Newcastle have scored in all but one of their nine league meetings with Reading, last failing to do so in April 2007.
- The Magpies have scored with a league-high 13.2% of their total shots in the Championship this season.
- The Royals have won nine of their previous 11 home Championship games (D1 L1).
Reading Team News
Reading will assess Garath McCleary ahead of the clash with Newcastle. McCleary didn’t feature in the win over Wolves and he’s suffering from knee and abdominal problems. Adrian Popa made his full debut at the weekend and could retain his place in midfield, while Joey Van Den Berg and John Swift could also feature.
Jordon Mutch and George Evans are also available for Jaap Stam to choose from, however Stephen Quinn (knee), Reece Oxford (hamstring), Deniss Rakels (ankle), Callum Harriott (hamstring), Tiago Ilori (knee) and Danzell Gravenberch (ankle) are all out.
Newcastle Team News
Dwight Gayle looks likely to feature. Gayle scored his 21st goal of the season in Saturday’s win over Huddersfield, but Rafa Benitez is keeping close tabs on his fitness. Daryl Murphy, Ayoze Perez and Yoan Gouffran could all replace him if needs be.
Vurnon Anita played 90 minutes at the weekend after recovering from injury. Benitez’ only injury concerns are long-term absentees Isaac Hayden (ankle) and Rolando Aarons.