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Re-Evaluating: Last 5 Games

The last five games of the season are upon us, and Reading – somehow – are still masters of their own destiny when it comes to gaining a playoff place. With a few teams in the mix I’m going to look at how our chances rate since I last wrote about the topic.

Wigan

Reading (H)
Burnley (A)
Blackpool (H)
Birmingham (A)
Blackburn (H)

Another of the clubs with a game in hand over some of the others after playing in the FA Cup at the weekend.  Realistically Wigan are almost assured of a place in the playoffs, but do have some tricky ties with Reading, Burnley, and Blackburn all to come.

Prediction: 13 pts, 

Brighton

Huddersfield (A)
Blackpool (H)
Yeovil (H)
Nottingham Forest (A)
By far have the easiest run-in, especially with Forrest dropping like a stone, and not having anything to play for by the last game of the season. They definitely have the capability of winning all four matches, and I think if they do they’ll be playing in the post-season.

Prediction: 12 pts

Ipswich

Watford (A)
Bournemouth (H)
Burnley (A)
Sheffield Wednesday (H)

A potentially tricky set of matches for Ipswich. I don’t think they’ll be able to beat Burnley, and Watford at Vicarage Road is not an easy game.
Prediction: 7 pts

Reading

Leicester (H)
Wigan (A)
Middelsbrough (H)
Doncaster (A)
Burnley (H)

Realistically I think Reading are out of the hunt for a playoff place, barring a monumental falter from Brighton. If Brighton win all their games Reading would have to match that, and win all theirs – as Brighton’s goal difference in matches against Blackpool, and Yeovil, would be greater than that of The Royals. That said, Nottingham Forest away could be a tie that Brighton slip up in. The optimist in me can see us going unbeaten in this run of games, but I’m not sure how well we’ll be able to cope with those around us – Leicester, Burnley, and Wigan – defensively. Possibly snatching a draw in all three matches – and if it comes down to the last match I would hope that we’d give Burnley a good go!

Prediction: 9 pts

Bournemouth

Sheffield Wednesday (H)
Ipswich (A)
Nottingham Forest (H)
Millwall (A)

Failing to beat Yeovil at the weekend is probably the death of Bournemouth’s playoff dreams, but nonetheless, a run in where it’s not impossible to pick-up maximum points.

Prediction: 7 pts

Blackburn

Yeovil (H)
Birmingham (A)
Charlton (A)
Wigan (H)

It would be very disappointing, from Blackburn’s perspective, to not pick up full points in the first three matches, but Wigan will be a stern test

Prediction: 9 pts

Prediction

Wigan       80
Brighton    76
--------------
Reading     72
Ipswich     71
Bournemouth 69
Blackburn   69

So I think Reading will just miss out on a playoff place, but that doesn't mean they will. The fans singing Que Sera Sera better hope that they see an improvement against Leicester tonight, otherwise they won't even have a shot at Wembley.

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