On Saturday, Preston North End make the journey south to the Madejski Stadium to face Brian McDermott’s Reading side in the second to last Sky Bet Championship game of the season.
Both sides have nothing to play for as both play-offs and relegation are out of their reach but the fans of both teams will be hoping that they will still put everything into the game to get the 3 points.
The home side have had a disappointing season and find themselves in 15th place, closer to the bottom three and than the play-offs.
Meanwhile Preston have had a fantastic season and despite being a lot of people’s favourites to go down, they find themselves in 11th position and the prospect of an unlikely play-off push looked possible earlier in the campaign.
FLW writer Tom Rawcliffe identifies 3 things to look out for in the second to last game of the season…
1) Uninspiring form
Over the course of the last ten games, both of these sides haven’t really done much worth shouting about.
Both have taken just 2 wins from the last 10 but Preston have accumulated 10 points whereas Reading have taken 8, both very uninspiring.
A win is needed for either of these sides to end their season on a high and go into next season on a positive where they will both be looking to make a push for the play-offs.
2) Recent history
The head-to-head record between these two clubs show that the away side will have to break the chain of 15 visits to Reading without a victory.
The last time that North End won away to Reading in the league was all the way back in October 1982 where they defeated the Royals 3-2.
If Preston were to take all 3 points tomorrow then it would not only end the long run without a win at Reading but it would also complete the double over the Berkshire side this season after a 1-0 victory at Deepdale.
But can Reading make it 16 in a row?
3) Greg Cunningham
The Preston North End left-back has had a brilliant season in the Championship for the Lilywhites and is in brilliant form.
The Irish full-back signed from Bristol City in the summer and has played a crucial part in North End’s season, featuring in all but 2 of Preston’s matches.
His fantastic defending accompanied with his ability to charge forward with the ball producing excellent deliveries makes him an all-round brilliant full-back as well as a threat to the Reading side.
Reading and Preston fans…What are your predictions for the match? Will the Royals make it 16 wins in a row against Preston? Or can Simon Grayson end his side’s Madjeski hoodoo? Let us know what you think in the comments below!