Friday 3 Aug

Reading vs Derby - Match Preview

02 Aug 2018 Ed Mackey ENGLAND: Championship
ENGLAND: Championship

Reading FC

  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L

vs

Kick-off
19:00 GMT
03 August 2018

Derby County

  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Kick-off
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.

STATS

  • Reading were extremely underwhelming last season, forcing them to wait until the final day of the campaign to confirm their safety. They’ll want to put that 20th-place finish behind them and push for the play-offs this time around. Their pre-season was less than impressive as they failed to win any of their six friendlies. Their final one came at home to Crystal Palace where they were taken apart and hammered 4-0.
  • Derby managed to snatch the last place in the play-offs last term but, as they have done so many times, failed to perform when the pressure was on. They were beaten by Fulham over two legs in the play-off semi-final but with Lampard in charge, there’s optimism in the air at Pride Park. They won four of their five friendlies with a 2-1 win over Premier League Wolves rounding off a strong pre-season.
  • Modou Barrow was Reading’s top scorer last season and without his 10 goals, they would’ve been much closer to relegation.

    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.

HEAD TO HEAD

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.

READING NEWS

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 NEWS

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

28.07.2018 Club Derby County Wolverhampton Wanderers 2:1 W
25.07.2018 Club Coventry City Derby County 0:1 W
21.07.2018 Club Derby County Southampton FC 3:0 W
18.07.2018 Club Mansfield Town Derby County 3:1 L
14.07.2018 Club Notts County Derby County 1:4 W

SUMMARY

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.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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