19:00 GMT 03 August 2018
The long-awaited start to the 2018/19 EFL Championship season is finally upon us and it begins on Friday night with Frank Lampard’s Derby side travelling South to face Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
Matej Vydra won the Championship golden boot last season with 21 league goals and Derby fans will want to see more of his goalscoring exploits over the next 10 months.
The recent meetings between the two sides have been very even with both sides getting a win each in the last five along with three draws. This fixture last season was an interesting one as it ended 3-3, Derby went ahead early on before Reading turned the game on its head. Then, Derby scored twice to make it 3-2 before an 80th minute home goal gave the Royals a valuable point. In the last three games, there have been 17 goals and this could follow the same pattern.
The hosts must start this season strongly and three points on Friday would certainly help their cause. Garath McCleary won’t be rushed back after recovering from a broken ankle while Jordan Obita and Chris Gunter are both expected to miss out.
Latest matches: Reading FC
|28.07.2018||Club||Reading FC||Crystal Palace||0:4||L|
|20.07.2018||Club||FC Rubin Kazan||Reading FC||0:0||D|
|17.07.2018||Club||Reading FC||Besiktas JK||2:2||D|
|14.07.2018||Club||Reading FC||Fulham FC||0:0||D|
|07.07.2018||Club||AFC Wimbledon||Reading FC||4:2||L|
Derby are certainly a side that are aiming for promotion this season and they need to start on the right foot against Reading. Vydra has returned to training and should play on Friday night but Ikechi Anya and Marcus Olsson are unavailable. Latest matches: Derby County
Latest matches: Derby County
It’s tough to pick a winner in this one with it being the opening game of the season. However, after a strong pre-season and with a few key additions to the squad, Derby go into the match as slight favourites. Reading need to use their home advantage and avoid conceding an early goal to have a chance of winning. It has the potential to be a great start to the campaign.
03 August 2018 - 19:00 GMT
Share your opinion about this preview by leaving a comment below.