Kick-off: 1730, 02/04/2021
TV: Sky Sports
The international break arguably came at a good time for both of these teams and they will be looking to get their promotion bids back on track in Friday’s Championship clash.
Barnsley’s 12-match unbeaten run ended with a derby defeat against Sheffield Wednesday last time out while Reading have gone three matches without a win.
Neither team has kept a clean sheet in the last three games and we fancy both teams to score at 10/11 for our opening Barnsley vs Reading prediction.
A Look At Barnsley’s Betting Odds
Barnsley slipped up in the South Yorkshire derby last time out but they are still fifth in the Championship and looking good for a play-off place.
Prior to the Wednesday defeat, the Tykes had won nine out of their previous 10 matches to storm up the table and inspire hope of a return to the Premier League.
There was a sense in the Wednesday game that a busy schedule had taken its toll and boss Valerian Ismael will hope the two-week break is just what the doctor ordered.
“You could see that fatigue impacted the game today,” said Ismael after the game. “We made two mistakes for the goals and it’s all about tiredness and concentration. That’s why it was such a difficult game.
“Even though we played badly, we should have been awarded two penalties. If the referee did his job, then maybe we could have won or at least stayed in the game.
“We are fifth with a play-off ticket. If you want to get in the play-offs, we need 75 points and at least four wins from the last eight games.
“Sheffield Wednesday played like a team who wanted to survive and had a fresher mindset than us.
“The international break is a time to recover, to reset and come back with a fresh mindset for the last eight games.”
Barnsley’s recent 3-2 win at Bournemouth caught the eye but their record against the top teams in the division is nothing special.
Given that they go into the game with a two-point advantage over Reading, we think the hosts may be happy with a point here ahead of a relatively easy run-in.
With that in mind we’re backing a draw at 11/5 in the Barnsley vs Reading odds.
A Look At Reading’s Betting Odds
Reading head into the weekend occupying the final play-off place but are only three points clear of seventh-placed Bournemouth, who have a game in hand.
The Royals enjoyed a 2-0 win when these teams met in September but Barnsley are a very different team now and their physicality has caused problems for many teams in the Championship.
That is a worry where Reading are concerned as they have often struggled in that kind of fixture.
They lost 1-0 at Wycombe last month, have lost both matches against Birmingham this season and took just three points from six games against Middlesbrough, Millwall and Stoke – all teams that are known for a physical approach.
We still expect them to create chances though and these two teams have the worst defensive records of the top-10 sides in the Championship.
Barnsley have already been involved in three 2-2 draws this season – against Cardiff, Stoke and Bristol City – and the same outcome at 15/1 is the last of our Barnsley vs Reading betting tips.
BARNSLEY 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday – Carlton Morris
READING 1-1 QPR – Yakou Meite
Head-to-head: Reading 2-0 Barnsley, Reading 2-0 Barnsley, Barnsley 1-1 Reading, Barnsley 1-1 Reading, Reading 3-0 Barnsley
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