Newcastle United vs Reading:
England – League Championship.
Date: Wednesday, 17 August, 2016
Kick-off: 19:45 UK.
Venue: St. James’ Park (Newcastle-upon-Tyne).
It is not the start that The Magpies have wished for. With two defeats from two matches, they are reeling at the foot of the Championship table. They were tipped as to win the league this season, now this is an all different ball game. Rafa has an unsettled squad at the moment with many key players leaving in the summer transfer window. It might take a while for the new faces to adapt to his playing style. But they need to get this right as soon as possible, otherwise they will have to play catch-up in a highly unpredictable league.
Reading began their Championship campaign with a 1-0 home win against Preston, but were brought back to earth by the 2-0 away defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers last week. However, their new head-coach Jaap Stam is keeping the season expectations pretty realistic. He has already ruled out on a top six finish and insisted that the focus will be on improving the squad. Reading finished 17th in last season’s Championship and anything other than a top half finish in the table is unrealistic for them.
Newcastle vs Reading: Head-to-Head
Newcastle won 3, lost 1 and drawn 1 of the last six league matches against Reading.
The last meeting between these two sides was during the 2012/13 Premier League seaso. Reading were unbeaten over the two fixtures of the season starting with a 2-2 draw at home before defeating Newcastle 2-1 at St. James Park on January 2013.
The 2-1 defeat to Reading on January 2013 is Newcastle’s only home defeat in four matches as they were victorious in each of the previous three matches at St.James Park.
Newcastle vs Reading: Prediction
Rafa Benitez has plenty of experience behind him and is a special man for situations like these. Also he has the squad with quality to get the job done for this level and we can expect Newcastle to respond in a positive manner.
While the 2-0 defeat at Wolverhampton was Reading’s seventh defeat in nine Championship games. With Jaap Stam holding a realistic expectation for the season, expect his side to be under no pressure to get a result here.
I back Newcastle to bounce back with a victory here, a pick mainly influenced by Reading’s poor away form in the league. Also, the last six matches between these two sides have seen over 3 or more goals, so over 2.5 goals is my recommended bet.
Newcastle vs Reading: Tips
1) Newcastle to win at 1.67
2) Over 2.5 goals at 2.05
3) Dwight Gayle to score any-time at 2.50.