|Reading 4 v 4 Swansea City|
Monday, 18th April 2022 Kick-off 15:00
It’s Bank Holiday Monday ! Reading v Swansea City LATEST NEWS
Monday, 18th Apr 2022 08:00 by Keith Haynes
There is no better feeling for a football fan than the tingle of excitement as they prepare for a bank holiday trip, and today is no different. An increased and full capacity away end at the select cars stadium awaits the home supporters for this crucial encounter. For Reading at least.
If the royals win today their safety is all but confirmed and resigns the likes of Peterborough, Barnsley and Derby County to league one. The swans have a lot to prove too, a pretty low key performance at home on Good Friday saw them draw 1-1 with Barnsley. Matt Grimes faces a late test on an injured ankle from that game. It could affect Russell Martin’s selection with Flynn Downes returning slowly from an injury received in the 4-0 drubbing of Cardiff City.
The swans pretty much only have pride to play for but in front of such a large away following they surely will be inspired to go all out for the three points. That would see them exceed the sixty point barrier with four games to go. Matt Grimes is the only real issue for Russell Martin where as Paul Ince the interim Reading manager has more concerns.
Joao is an aerial threat the swans have to contend with if he passes a fitness test this morning
Lucas Joao left the field early at Sheffield United on Friday and will face a fitness test this morning. “He had a tight hamstring," said Paul Ince about Joao after the win at Sheffield United. "He could have carried on and wanted to but we had to take a precaution with the game on Monday. But he ‘should’ be okay for that. He's a good lad, a wonderful striker and I think we've got more out of him on the work rate side - he's doing numbers he's never done before. The players appreciate him. If you do the things you don't like to do, and he's doing them for the team, then he gets his rewards with his goals. He scored a wonderful goal and I've told him he should have had a second, but it's about demanding standards. He's a terrific lad and the players love him. If he keeps doing that then we'll be okay."
Joao has scored eight goals in twenty games for Reading this season. The twenty eight year old is a real menace in the penalty area at 6’4” and the swans will do well to control him today. Ben Cabango in the swans defence is a great match for Joao and he should feature for the swans. He is loving the season he is having with Russell Martin at the helm. As the season has gone on Cabango has looked increasingly comfortable playing Martin's demanding brand of dominating football. "He has helped me massively, honestly," Cabango says. "On and off the pitch - everything - I think he has helped so much. In possession was a big thing I wanted to improve on and this is the most [exposure to that] you are ever going to get. It's having the courage and confidence to show you are capable of doing it. I am just working hard every day and it's starting to show now. I don't want to stop here. I just want to keep improving."
Ben Cabango, very much a Swansea player and calls Cardiff ‘them’
On todays game Cabango points out the changes from the Ewood park season opener at Blackburn to now “I am sure if you all watched the Blackburn game, you wouldn't think we'd be in the situation we are in now because it wasn't the best," Cabango says. "But as the season has gone on we have kept getting better and better. Next season could be very exciting if we keep working hard. Ben’s highlight this season was the rasping shot he scored against his home city club a few weeks ago. "Thinking back to that moment now, it gives me goose bumps," Cabango says. "It was probably one of my best moments so far, scoring against them."
Kevin Friend will be the man in charge when Swansea City take to the field today. The fifty year-old began refereeing in Leicestershire at the age of fourteen and worked in the Leicestershire Senior League and Midland Football Alliance before being added to the National List of Referees in 2003. Friend is an experienced referee spending most of his recent years in the premier league. He will be assisted by Scott Ledger and Matthew Wilkes. The fourth official will be Declan Bourne.
So hopefully no ultimatums on the touchline today then ?
Swansea City kick off against Reading at the select cars stadium at 3pm today and has not been selected for the Sky Sports Red Button.
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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