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After a run of nine wins from 10 Championship matches, the other game in that sequence finishing in a draw, Barnsley’s superb form was ended by Sheffield Wednesday before the international break.
Jordan Rhodes scored twice to inflict a first league defeat on the Tykes since January 19, during which time they have climbed the division into their current position of fifth.
The target for Valerien Ismael‘s men will be to keep hold of a playoff spot with eight games to go, but they still have to face Norwich City, Middlesbrough and indeed Reading.
This really is a massive game for both sides given the tight proximity between them in the table, plus the fact that Bournemouth, Cardiff City and Boro are all within touching distance.
While Barnsley’s form over the past couple of months has been nothing short of exceptional, even accounting for the home loss to lowly Wednesday, Reading’s has been rather more inconsistent.