Reading v Norwich City: everything you need to know

Norwich Head Coach Daniel Farke and Michael McGovern of Norwich at the end of the Sky Bet Championsh

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke will once again turn to Michael McGovern for City's Championship clash at Reading. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City will be looking to reclaim top spot this evening when they head to promotion rivals Reading. 

Bournemouth’s 1-0 win over Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night knocked the Canaries off the top of the tree but Farke’s men only need a draw this evening to leapfrog the Cherries. 

City fans will be hoping their side can claim all three points though and we run down the key talking points ahead of the big game. 

Injury news 

Tim Krul is not quite fully over his thigh injury so Michael McGovern will continue in goal. Lukas Rupp (hamstring) is not available on Wednesday night but could be back for Cardiff at the weekend. Ben Gibson (calf) and Przemyslaw Placheta (hamstring) are on course to be available for the trip to Watford on Boxing Day. Todd Cantwell and Kenny McLean have suffered no adverse reaction and will be available along with Kieran Dowell and Jordan Hugill. 

Reading will be without star attacking duo Lucas Joao and Yakou Meite, while Omar Richards will also miss out having picked up a hamstring injury during the 1-0 win at QPR. 

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke on Reading... 

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“They (Reading) have done a fantastic job. It is not early doors after 18 league games. That is a proper amount of games. To be in the top six and not far from the top underlines their quality. They are one of the best in the league. They had an outstanding start with many wins, then a dip, but now that consistency is back.  

“They have really good players in possession, many offensive threats. We have to be at our best to protect our position. It is a game where small details will be determining.  

“This league is always relentless but even more this season. We are grinding out results and I am pretty pleased with what we have done.” 

Reading boss Veljko Paunovic on City... 

“They are a fantastic team. Our team has usually played very good games against teams like Norwich. I think it is going to be a great evening of football.  

“Our team responds very well against the teams who are around the top of the table and we will look to have another great performance in front of our fans at our stadium.  

“I want our guys to build some more momentum in front of our fans, like our first game at home. That should be the way we seek our motivation this week.  

“When you create a good atmosphere and good emotions, it helps the recovery to speed up after so many games.” 

Talking point: Why is the quality of the football not as good as a whole in the Championship? 

Farke said: “If you had seven or eight days between games then you have time to work on things. It is quite normal more games in a shorter period of time means sometimes the quality is not that great across the league. We have to play in the toughest league in the world.  

“To do this more or less without a pre-season or a proper summer break and then in a season that is one, one and a half months shorter than normal is hard. It is so difficult for the lads to go every three days. We don’t have any time to really work on things on the training pitch. Even in terms of recovery it is tricky.   

“Compare it with other top leagues in Europe and quite often you find four or five sides maintaining that two point per game average. In this league there is one team. That is us.” 

Last time teams met 

City’s promotion charge in the 2018/19 season was interrupted by Andy Rinomhota’s injury time equaliser as the Royals came from behind to claim a 2-2 draw.  

Reading took a surprise lead through Yakou Meite in the first half but Ben Godfrey pulled City level in the 86th minute with a great strike from distance. Christoph Zimmermann’s 90th minute header looked to have completed the turnaround but Rinomhota had the last word deep into injury time. 

Referee  

Geoff Eltringham has already taken charge of two City games this season. Eltringham was the man in the middle for the Canaries’ opening day win at Huddersfield as well as their 3-2 victory over Stoke City at the end of November in which he sent off Emi Buendia for two bookable offences. Eltringham has shown 40 yellow cards so far this season as well as three reds in the 11 games he has taken charge of. 

Can I watch the game? 

Yes – the match has been made available to season ticket holders to watch for free on iFollow. However, because the match has been selected for Sky Sports coverage (Sky Sports Football) in the UK, no match passes will be sold for this fixture. One way around this is to purchase a Now TV pass, which gives customers 24 hours of Sky Sports for £9.98. 

You can of course also follow every kick of the action with our live match coverage at pinkun.com 

Prediction 

1-1. Two teams in form and a share of the spoils, which both teams will be relatively pleased with due to the hectic Championship schedule. 

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