They might have only narrowly missed out on promotion last time around, but history suggests Reading’s chances of winning next year’s Championship title are slim.
The Royals were one of the form teams in the Championship in the second half of the season, recording eight straight league wins between March and April, while their Championship title odds of 12/1 suggest they will be one of the teams to challenge in the new season.
At those odds, new customers who placed a successful bet on a Reading title success would be in line to win £325 if they used their £25 free bet for opening a bwin account.
However, teams who lose in the end-of-season play-off final – as Reading did to Swansea – traditionally suffer from a dip in form as they struggle to overcome the disappointment.
In the six years prior to Reading’s loss at Wembley, Preston North End, Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion, Bristol City, Sheffield United and Cardiff have all suffered play-off heartache.
Just one of these teams went on to secure the Championship title in the next year – West Bromwich Albion – with the others all falling short, and some disastrously so.
While Preston and Cardiff reached the play-offs again, both ultimately failed in their promotion quest.
Worryingly for Reading, Bristol City and Sheffield United both missed out on a place in the top six the year after reaching the play-off final and Leeds suffered the humiliation of being relegated to League One as the division’s worst team.
All this suggests Reading boss Brian McDermott will have his work cut out to steer his side to promotion.
His task will be made all the harder by the fact that star striker Shane Long has been linked with a move away from the club.
That said, with all three clubs relegated from the Premier League having some way to go to put their own houses in order, Reading could be in a good position to replicate West Brom’s success and win the Championship the year after their play-off setback.
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