Check out our analysis, team news, line-ups and see our prediction for this match.
Start in league and cup sluggish, restless reading will try to stabilize the ship when they host Preston North End in the Select Car Leasing Stadium on Saturday.
While the guests were also beaten on the opening day of the championship, they recovered during the week in the EFL Cup, but the Royals crashed; Lost 3-0 to Swansea.
Prediction for this match
Although Reading played to an unrestricted home crowd for the first time since March 2020 on Tuesday, last season’s seventh-placed Reading suffered a second straight defeat when they were clearly beaten by Swansea City in the first round of the EFL Cup.
Perhaps to be expected given Veljko Paunovic‘s cold side had an average age of 19 – with most of the older players rested before the game that weekend – the royals were beaten by their Welsh counterparts after barely putting on a glove.
The Swans had almost three-quarters of the ball, plus 17 shots on goal compared to reading’s six, as the home side had played once in the last 20 minutes with just 10 men Nelson Abbey was sent off due to injury after Paunovic had already made all three substitutions.
Even taking into account the vastly changed nature of their team during the week, Reading has conceded a total of three times in four of the last five games. Friendship defeats to West Ham and Crystal Palace cost six goals before the first day of the new championship season resulted in a 3-2 defeat at Stoke.
Despite coming twice from behind in a game where the most goals were scored in three hectic minutes of the first half, Stoke took the points as a debutant Sam Surridge fired a powerful right-hand shot into the roof of the Royals network.
Paunovic, who remains frustrated with a transfer embargo, is now hoping to not only contain the tide but also score the first point of the new season, hoping his side can do better against a side they couldn’t overtake the last Semester.
Preston has fond memories of their last trip to Berkshire when they won 3-0 at Reading last November – one of the few highlights of a testing season for the Lancastrian team.
As the current boss Frankie McAvoy rose out of nowhere to be permanently appointed head coach – after winning five of his eight games as interim manager after his compatriot Alex Neil‘s discharge – her happiness has improved somewhat.
However, the Lilywhites suffered a shocking 4-1 home defeat to Hull City in their first league game last weekend before they were partially offset by a 3-0 win over Mansfield in the Cup – which they later drew in Morecambe in the second Round earned month.
Undoubtedly, the return of their loyal supporters to Deepdale after a year and a half’s absence proved a damp squib as Preston suffered his worst home defeat on the first day since 1956.
McAvoy’s men are clearly second best after newly ascended Hull opposition in this devastating 4-1 return.
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Reading chief Veljko Paunovic made 10 changes to his team as a defender in the middle of the week Tom McIntyre was the only survivor from losing to Stoke. A very different XI is therefore expected to be seen against Preston, although he still has a handful of injury concerns to consider.
Star striker Lucas Joao dislocated her shoulder last weekend – for the third time in the past year – and was transported away late with considerable pain. That said, the former Sheffield Wednesday striker should be back in the race after missing mid-week.
John Swift was also withdrawn – due to a cramp – and not played in the Cup due to Paunovic’s concerns about previous injuries, but is expected to show up as well. Ovie EjariaMeanwhile, a groin strain should be overcome and could even begin.
Preston’s Frankie McAvoy started the new season with a back three but switched to a back four during the break against Hull – switched to a midfield diamond – and it remains to be seen which direction he will go this time.
goalkeeper Declan Rudd was preferred to the Leicster City borrower Daniel Iversen, but he was brought on after just 13 minutes when Rudd was hit on the head. The Danish stopper therefore became the first “concussion submarine” to be used under the new league protocols and is expected to start on Saturday.
American right-back Matthew OlosundeRecovery from an Achilles problem is almost complete so it could potentially happen, but another new PNE signing, Izzy Brown, suffered a severe injury setback late last month that will sideline the midfielder for several months.
Reading possible starting grid:
Cabral; Yiadom, Moore, Morrison, McIntyre; Rinomhota, Laurent; Bristow, Swift, Ejaria; Joao
Preston North End possible starting line-up:
Iversen; Floor, Lindsay, Hughes; Barkhuizen, Whiteman, Ledson, Browne, Cunningham; Evans, Maguire
Probability: Reading 2-2 Preston North End
While expectations are realistic at both clubs, neither club will want to continue a winless start to the league season much longer, but they may have to do just that as the booty will be shared on Saturday.
Reading’s defensive weaknesses may be exposed again while Preston is unsure of his best team under new coach McAvoy and is unlikely to rule the home side out for 90 minutes. Therefore, there is a hard-fought draw for points.
Best betting tip for this match
Our expert tipster partners at footpredictions.com forecast less than 3.5 goals in this game. Click here to see more football predictions to see what else they are predicting for this game and for more proven soccer tips.Under 3.5: data