EFL Championship Preview: Reading vs Middlesbrough

In-form Reading host Middlesbrough at Madejski Stadium in the ninth game week of the EFL Championship 2021/22 season. Both the teams currently sit in the mid-table, with Reading in 13th position and Middlesbrough two places behind them on 15th. The previous five head-to-head matches between the two teams have resulted in one draw and four wins for Boro. Let us look at their stats this season before the teams play each other in the early kick-off on Saturday.

EFL Championship Preview: Reading vs Middlesbrough

Reading is currently on a three-match unbeaten run with two wins in their previous two matches. Their last match was a 2-1 away victory over second-ranked Fulham, and the team will be high on confidence. The Royals are on a red hot goal-scoring run this season, and the team has scored 15 goals in the eight matches. The team has attempted 78 shots towards the goal, and 26 of them have been on target. Most of the shots towards the goal have found the back of the net.

The major concern for Reading this season has been their defence. The team has conceded 18 goals and averages more than two goals against them in a match. Another area of concern for Reading is that the team has the least number of progressive passes and passes into the opposition third. The Royals have attempted very few crosses this season and have focused on play through the middle.

EFL Championship Preview: Reading vs Middlesbrough

In the previous match against Fulham, we can see that only two crosses have been attempted by Reading players. Seven passes have ended in the opposition penalty area, and none of the smart passes was successful.

EFL Championship Preview: Reading vs Middlesbrough

John Swift is the highest goal scorer this season in the league, and the former Chelsea man already has four assists to his name. He has been the main man to score goals in the absence of injured forward players Azeez, Lucas Joao and Meite. Oviemuno Ejaria scored a brace in the match against Fulham and confirmed the victory for his team.

Liam Moore availability will be a concern for Reading as the centre back missed the previous game due to injury. Reading has no fresh injury concerns, and the team is expected to make one change from the last fixture, with Puscas replacing Hoilett at the top of the attack.

EFL Championship Preview: Reading vs Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough suffered a shock 1-2 loss at home against struggling Blackpool, and the team would love to bounce back in their next game. The team has scored nine goals this season and have conceded ten goals in the process. The shot accuracy is around 45% for Boro this season, and the team averages four shots on target per game. Boro players have dribbled well this season, and the average dribbles per game are almost 30 with a 50% success rate. The team also averages around 42 successful aerial duels in a match.

EFL Championship Preview: Reading vs Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough has the lowest match tempo in the league. The main reason behind such a low tempo is passing. Boro has the least number of passes in the league, and the team averages around 247 passes per match. This has affected their match tempo and could be a reason behind their inconsistent form.

Boro have seven different goal scorers this season. Ikpeazu and Crooks have scored two goals, and Isaiah Jones has two assists to his name.

The major concern for Boro is in the full-back position. Dijksteel injured his hamstring in the last match and Lee Peltier is the only full-back available for Neil Warnock’s side. Former Manchester United rookie Paddy McNair could make his return and veteran defender Sol Bamba could also feature in the absence of full-backs.

Reading will look to take advantage of Middlesbrough injury problems at the back. The home team is on a good goalscoring run and will look to win their third consecutive match. Boro has a high defensive duels win rate and attempted a lot of shots on target. They will try to score past a leaky Reading defence and look to return to winning terms.