News and Views
Reading Face Tough Away Tests
12 August 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?
After two straight wins to start the new season, Reading now face two big tests that will give a much better indication of how Jaap Stam's side might measure up in the Championship this season. First up, the Royals travel to Wolves this Saturday, and that's quickly followed by Wednesday night's trip to just relegated, and promotion favourties, Newcastle United. After straight forward home victories against Preston North End in the League and Plymouth in the cup it's likely to be a very different story on the road as we look to build on a postitive start to the new season. Both the games so far Reading have dominated possession throughout - it will be interesting if the passing game continues away from home against sides expecting home wins.
Saturday's opposition, Wolves, started the season with a 2-2 away draw at Rotherham, securing the point after coming back from two goals down, and playing most of the second half with ten men after Iorfa was sent off. Iorfa has already served his one match ban when his team mates secured a 2-1 League Cup win over Crawley mid-week.
Stam fielded a strong side against Plymouth in the league cup, with not as many changes as expected, and appears to already be getting a feel for what his strongest starting eleven might be. Jaakkola was handed his Reading debut in goal on Tuesday night, but will probably find Al Habsi back in goal for the trip to Wolves. Neither keeper has had much to do so far, making it difficult to stake a claim for first choice keeper. McShane looked a better option in defence than Cooper and will find himself back in the team. Up front Kermorgant started on Tuesday but failed to make his mark, leaving Rakels hoping to be back in the starting elevent. Stam has plenty of options and plenty of players hoping to be involved including Yakou Meite who came off the bench against Plymouth and will be hoping to make his second Royals appearance.
Last season we were disappointing against Wolves. At home we drew 0-0, while away we went down 0-1 after James Henry's early goal for the home side. We will be hoping for something similar to the season before, in February 2015, when we were 2-1 winners away from home thanks to goals from Pavel Pogrebnyak and Danny Williams.
Graphics supplied by KickOff.
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