Huddersfield Town v Reading Match Preview
Will the Terriers be playing in the Premier League next season or will Reading stop them in their tracks?
May 25th, 2017
Prior to the start of the season, relatively few expected Huddersfield Town to be amongst the play-off contenders, never mind make it through to the play-off final. Nevertheless David Wagner’s men now stand just one game away from making it into the top-flight for the first time since 1972 and should they succeed in their ambitions on Monday evening, then they will proceed into the Premier League for the first time ever.
No mean achievement for a side which were playing at the fourth level of the English game relatively recently and their success can be laid at Wagner’s feet. The German manager has clearly achieved great things with a team which is absent of star players. Tommy Smith, Elias Kachunga and Aaron Mooy have performed well above expectations since the start of the campaign and they have been rewarded with a trip to Wembley Stadium.
Will their reward be extended to a season in the Premier League however? Reading will be doing their utmost to ensure that it isn’t. Indeed the Royals are certain to provide extremely tough opposition and one cannot doubt their credentials given that they too enjoyed an excellent season which saw them finish third in the Championship table.
Jaap Stam has done a great job in the Reading dug-out and with just one defeat in their last seven Championship outings we expect them to play their part in what looks set to be a cagey and closely-fought affair.
Indeed with much at stake we shouldn’t expect fireworks from the outset. Both teams are strong at the rear and will be reluctant to concede early on, therefore we’ll be expecting very few goals along the way. The Terriers are favourites to win this match although the Royals possess more experience in their squad and their higher finish in the league table should count for something. Nevertheless we’re finding it hard to separate the sides and we envisage extra-time or penalties being needed to find a winner.