12:00 AM (AEST) Tuesday, May 30 at Wembley Stadium, London
The EFL Championship final between Reading and Huddersfield will take place on Tuesday, with the winner earning promotion to the Premier League for 2017-18.
Reading: Al Habsi; Moore, Ilori, van den Berg, Gunter; Evans, Blackett, Williams; Kermorgant, Grabban, Swift.
Huddersfield: Ward; Schindler, Smith, Hefele, Lowe; Hogg, Mooy, van La Parra; Kachunga, Brown, Wells.
These two sides have met on 50 previous occasions in all competitions, with Reading picking up 24 wins to Huddersfield’s 15 victories. Their two meetings this season saw both sides pick up a 1-0 victory each.
Reading started the season slowly with 1 win from the opening four games before picking up 9 wins and 4 draws from their next 15 games. They then copped a 5-0 hiding from Fulham and a 2-0 loss to Leeds either side of a win over Sheffield Wednesday. They then won 3 straight, lost 2 in a row and then won another 3 straight before picking up back-to-back draws. A 3-2 win over Brentford was followed up by a pair of losses, one of which was to Huddersfield, before closing out the season impressively with 8 wins, a draw and 3 losses to finish third on the table. They drew their semi with Fulham 1 all before beating them in the replay 1-0 to reach this final.
The Terriers began the season strongly, winning 8 and drawing 1 of their opening 11 matches before a form slump saw them win 1 and draw 2 of their next 8 matches. They lost just 1 of their next 14 games before falling into a form slump, picking up 5 wins, 2 draws and 7 losses to close out the regular season in 7th place. They drew their semi with Sheffield Wednesday and the replay ended in a draw, but Huddersfield won through 4-3 on penalties.
Midfield – Huddersfield has the better defence while Reading’s attack is better here, which means the battle in the centre of the pitch is vital. Both sides are also at their strongest in the midfield.
This will be very tight, Reading had the better end of season form, but their poor defensive record could be their downfall. Huddersfield are a committed side who won’t stop coming.