On Tuesday, the second-placed Bournemouth take on 21st placed Reading at the Vitality Stadium in the EFL Championship. In the reverse fixture back in October 2021, Bournemouth won 2-0 away at Reading, with goals from Dominic Solanke and Jamal Lowe. Coming into this game, Bournemouth won 2-0 at home against Derby County, and Reading suffered a big 0-4 loss away against Nottingham Forest. Bournemouth will look to solidify their case for automatic promotion, and Reading need to win to not be threatened with any relegation battle in the future.
Bournemouth won their previous match 2-0 at home against Derby County. The goals were scored by Jamal Lowe and Dominic Solanke. This victory over Derby leaves Bournemouth in the second automatic promotion spot on the table. Their record now stands at 19 wins, eight draws, and seven losses, with a goal difference of +25. Bournemouth have the best defense in the league, conceding just 30 goals. xGA predicted them to give away 36 goals up until this point in the season. Thus, they have overperformed on their xGA.
Dominic Solanke is the team’s go-to man for the goals as he has netted 21 goals so far in this campaign. But no other player has reached double figures for Bournemouth, although they have outperformed their xG output. Generally speaking, Bournemouth have taken their chances well this season from inside the box.
Forward Jaidon Anthony is Bournemouth’s most successful threat creator this season, both from open play as well as from set-pieces. But his threat creation score has not reached double figures, which implies that whatever chances he and his team are creating, Bournemouth capitalise on it very efficiently. That could be one reason why despite having the second most goals scored of any team this season, they are 35 goals behind Fulham at the time of writing.
Reading suffered a 0-4 thrashing at the hands of Nottingham Forest coming into this game. It was their third consecutive loss in the league. In those three losses, they have conceded nine goals. Reading’s defense is the joint worst in the league, along with Peterborough United (72 goals conceded each). This loss against Nottingham Forest leaves Reading with the record of 10 wins, five draws, and 21 losses. On the bright side, xG predicted Reading to score 36 goals, but they have scored 42 goals.
Reading have not only outperformed on their xG output but also outperformed on their xA output. They have 0.72 assists per 90 compared to 0.51 xA.
Bournemouth are clear favorites for this match, but Reading are fighting for their survival in the division. So, both teams will want to win this match for different reasons – Bournemouth for automatic promotion hopes and Reading for staving off relegation.