Swansea City fans will begin 2019 with a trip to the Madjeski Stadium, as the Swans face Reading on New Year’s Day in the Championship.
The Swans came from two goals down at half time to earn a 2-2 draw with Wigan in their last match.
Swans manager Graham Potter made surprising team selections for the game, which confused the fans it seems as much as the players, as a disjointed first half performance led to the two goal deficit at half time.
Credit to Graham Potter though. It can be common for coaches to blame the players and be stubborn with his selections but he accepted he’d made mistakes, changed these at half time and this led to a much improved second half display that could have seen Swansea snatch victory at the end.
I’m sure the followers of this column will hope for a more predictable team selection though, especially when we are backing the Swans to win the game – unaware of these team selections!
Reading currently sit in the relegation zone and are on a win-less run that stretched to nine games as their side drew 0-0 with QPR on the weekend.
However, there has been improvement in the Reading displays, so Swans fans may be mistaken for thinking this might be an easy away game.
Former Swans manager, Paul Clement has recently been relieved of his duties in the Reading hot seat and has been replaced by new manager Jose Manuel Gomes who has brought a passing, possession based game to the Madjeski Stadium.
Gomes’s first game as Reading manager saw them lose 1-0 away to Millwall but Reading did play 81 minutes of this game with ten men (and finished it with nine men).
Despite this Reading dominated the possession with 58% of the play. In Gomes’s second and most recent game he saw his side draw 0-0 away to a QPR side pushing for the play-offs.
In this game Reading dominated the possession with 67% of the play and Gomes stated after the game that he saw this as two points dropped.
The drawbacks for Reading will be that despite dominating the possession in these games they didn’t make this count with any goals.
Also, Reading will be missing centre backs Liam Moore and Tyler Blackett through injury and suspension respectively and midfielder Leandro Bacuna will also miss the game through suspension.
As such, Reading have been down on numbers over the festive period and with a small squad they may find a third game in under a week a big test especially against a team who is more familiar and experienced in the style of play they are currently using.
Reading v Swansea City Head to Head Stats
The overall head to head record between the two sides at Reading is as follows:
Games played: 37
Swansea wins: 10
Reading wins: 20
Swansea Goals: 40
Reading Goals: 66
Take a look at all of the historical results between the two clubs since their first meeting way back in 1921, when Swansea Town ran out 3-1 winners in Division Three South, on our Reading v Swansea City Head to Head Statistics page.
Reading v Swansea City Match Predictions
I do feel there is value to be had in a Swansea victory in the game, but it might be an idea to wait for team news before placing your bet.
Certainly when the team news for Wigan came through, I wasn’t as confident in a Swans win as I was a couple of days earlier and numerous changes or players playing out of position will always have an effect.
Having said that, I do feel Graham Potter will stick to a stronger line up where he can for the game and the selection I would back is Swansea to win the game and there to be less than 3.5 goals in the game which is available at 28/13 (3.15).
As noted Reading have had a lot of possession in their recent games without the goals to show for it and I feel their squad may suffer from fatigue in missing a few key players over a busy festive period.
Although, Swansea made changes for the Wigan game this may be of benefit in this clash.
The likes of Connor Roberts, Leroy Fer and Nathan Dyer were completely rested for the Wigan game, with Kyle Naughton and Wilfried Bony only coming off the substitutes bench and this may be the deciding factor in the game.
In regards of a First Goalscorer selection, I would back Wilfried Bony for the game who is available at 5/1 (6.00) with BetFred.
I would expect Bony to start the game with Oli McBurnie looking quite jaded at the end of the Wigan game. Fans at the Wigan game may have wondered why Courtney Baker-Richardson started ahead of Bony on Saturday, but I think the idea would have been to keep Bony back to start at Reading.
The main danger to Swansea could be the returning Jon Dadi Bodvarsson to the Reading team.
The Icelandic international has been missing through injury recently but has scored seven goals this season and has a strike rate of goal for every 97 minutes played, which is better than even Harry Kane or Mo Salah.
Pessimistic Swans fans or even Reading fans reading this article may be interested to know his price is 6/1 (7.00) to open the scoring in this game.
The ACCA selection for New Year’s Day is Tottenham, Hull, Charlton, Portsmouth and Bury and pays 12.7/1 (13.70) with BetVictor.
- Swansea to win and under 3.5 goals at 28/13 (3.15) with 188Bet.
- First Goalscorer – Wilfried Bony at 5/1 (6.0) with BetFred, Bet365, Boylesports and BetBright.
- Accumulator – Tottenham, Hull, Charlton, Portsmouth and Bury at 12.7/1 (13.70) with BetVictor.
All of the odds quoted on this page are correct at the time of writing. Our match predictions are fully researched and are provided to you in good faith, but please note that we cannot guarantee a profit on any bets you place and ask you to gamble responsibly.
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