The relegation dog fight is well and truly on, but if the Royals can get a result in this vital six-pointer, it could go a long way towards them securing their future in this division.
Steve Coppell on the challenge ahead:
‘There are seven or eight teams involved and we are all uncomfortable. It dominates your every thought and that applies to managers, coaches and players.
‘You can be watching TV or a film or playing golf and in the back of your mind you will be thinking ‘we have eight games to go’.
‘It is hugely significant in a club’s history. It is meaningful.’
Reading Team News:
Graeme Murty, Bryn Gunnarsson and Glen Little remain sidelined for the Royals.
Dave Kitson could start after Shane Long’s tantrum at Anfield.
Player to watch: Marek Matejovsky
The Czech international showed a glimpse of his quality with a wondergoal at Liverpool. His performances could be the difference between Reading staying up or going down.
Birmingham Team News:
Martin Taylor is available following suspension for breaking Eduardo’s leg.
Seb Larsson is doubtful after picking up an injury against Newcastle.
Player to watch: James McFadden
James McFadden has been quality since signing for Birmingham. His ability to get a goal from nothing is always a danger.
Match Facts & Stats
Reading have won eight games this season, compared to Birmingham’s six, but the Royals are only a point above the Blues.
Mike Riley (Leeds, Yorkshire)
Birmingham are better than people give them credit for, and have got some quality players, but I still think Reading will be too strong for them at the fortress.
My prediction: Reading 4-1 Birmingham
Blackburn (h) 22/03/08
Newcastle (a) 05/04/08