After a successful week on the pitch which saw them pick seven points up out of a possible nine, Reading were brought crashing back down to earth earlier this week with some off-field news.
The Royals are set for a points deduction totalling between six and nine points, per The Guardian, from the EFL after breaching profit and sustainability rules.
Like Derby County, Reading have been able to negotiate their punishment with the EFL and any deduction of points will likely send them into the relegation though, although they could claw back some of the damage against Middlesbrough this weekend.
It could be an opportune time to face Boro at home, with Neil Warnock’s side losing three of their last four matches and currently they occupy 15th position in the Championship.
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They made a number of exciting late transfer window signings such as Andraz Sporar and Onel Hernandez but the whole team is yet to click so far this season but they’ll be hoping to take advantage of Reading’s off-field problems on the pitch.
EFL expert David Prutton doesn’t believe that will happen though as he’s predicting a success for the Royals on home soil.
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“Things were looking up for Reading after a couple of brilliant results, particularly the win at Fulham last week, but off-field issues have come to the fore since to dampen the mood at the club, which is such a shame,” Prutton said in his Sky Sports column.
“Middlesbrough haven’t started how many would have expected this season, and they will be up against it on Saturday in more ways than one.
“I fancy a Royals win. 2-1.”
You have to be impressed by how Reading have turned up following the international break, with their victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage especially eye-catching.
The potential points deduction seemed to come from nowhere, but it won’t have been a surprise to Royals fans and the timing of it could be a potential hammer-blow.
There’s every chance though that they can show some resilience against a Boro side who it will probably take a lot of hard work to break down, as all Neil Warnock teams tend to be like.
Boro have dangerous players on the attack such as Sporar and Marcus Tavernier who could cause the hosts issues but on the strength of their success away from home last week, I fancy Reading to run out winners again.