Match preview for Watford FC vs Reading
Watford and Reading will face each other on Friday in game week 41 in the Championship, with both teams fighting for promotion to the Premier League.
Watford are in an excellent position to return to the Premier League after only a year of absence from England’s top tier. Before the Reading game, the team from Vicarage Road are second in the league table, 9 points in front of Brentford who have a game in hand. To mathematically achieve automatic promotion (a Top 2 finish), Xisco Munoz’s team needs to pick up 13 points from their last 6 games. At the moment they have 79 points and are 8 points behind the leaders, Norwich. History shows us that 87 points were enough in 8 of the last 10 seasons to achieve direct promotion to the Premier League. In their last game Watford only managed a draw, 1-1 away against Middlesbrough. In the previous 6 games the Hornets managed 6 wins, that allowed them to put some distance between them and Brentford and Swansea. The hosts have been in perfect form at home in the last two months, winning 6 games with a 15-1 goal difference.
If Watford are close to promotion, Reading on the other hand need to work hard to qualify for the promotion playoff, as they are currently in a race with 4 other teams for the 3-6 spots. Before the beginning of the round the league table in the playoff zone looked like this: Brentford-70 points after 39 games, Swansea-69 points after 39 games, Barnsley-68 points after 40 games, Reading-66 points after 40 games and Bournemouth-65 points after 39 games. At first sight it seems Reading has the lowest chance of getting into playoff considering that in their last six games they will face three of the first 4 placed teams. After the game against Watford, Reading will also face Swansea and Norwich. After the international break, Reading managed a 1-1 draw away against Barnsley and then a clear 3-1 win against Derby County. It’s worth adding that The Royals’ last away win was on February 27, 1-0 against Rotherham. Since then they played three other games, 1-1 against Nottingham, 1-2 against Birmingham and 1-1 against Barnsley.