News and Views

Match Preview: Fulham FC v Reading FC

03 December 2016
By Alex Bower

"Fulham have got a great team. I think it will be one of the most difficult games to play so far this season. The way they want to play is quite similar to what we like to do. They like to play out from the back, they've got quality attacking players who are comfortable on the ball as well. If you give them time they can make it very difficult for you so it is going to be a very interesting game on Saturday."
- Reading FC Manager Jaap Stam

"They are a team that play very good football and look to control the game, and we are going to try and put them in a situation where they don't get an opportunity to dictate the play. They have been playing very well. They've won their last five games but we are confident in ourselves, and nobody has outplayed us in recent games. We are confident we can show a good performance and win."
- Fulham FC Manager Slavisa Jokanovic

Reading will be looking to settle a score when they face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday. Last season's fixture between the two sides will live long in the memory, unfortunately for Reading fans. The Royals were 2-0 up and looking comfortable. Three Fulham goals in six minutes, however, turned the tide and Fulham went on to win 4-2.

While the game against Fulham marked the start of a decline for the Royals last season, this season Reading will be hoping to continue a more positive run. The side have won five games in a row and will now be looking to make it six. Last time out Reading beat Bristol City 2-1 at home courtesy of goals from Garath McCleary and Roy Beerens. The Royals now find themselves third in the Championship.

Fulham are not doing too badly either, having pushed themselves up to tenth in the league. Their last fixture against Brighton, however, did not go to plan as they lost 2-1 away from home. Kevin McDonald initially gave Fulham the lead but two second-half goals from Sam Baldock and Glenn Murray were enough to give Brighton the victory.

If Reading are to extend their winning streak, then they will have to do so without centre-back Liam Moore. The defender has been an important member of their squad but is suspended for Saturday's game. John Swift and Stephen Quinn also remain sidelined with injuries.

The only absentee for Fulham is Denis Odoi after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season. Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic will, however, be able to rely on the services of Captain Scott Parker once more as he returns from his suspension. Lucas Piazon could also make an appearance, following his season on loan at the Madejski last year.

While both sets of fans will be optimistic about Saturday's fixture, it is a difficult one to predict. Fulham have won their last two home games against Reading but have never won three in a row. This season Fulham have also only won one of their last eight games at Craven Cottage, despite Tom Cairney creating more chances this season than any other Championship player. Reading meanwhile are on a winning streak and will be looking for it to continue.

With both teams playing in a similar fashion it is difficult to predict how the sides will fare. It has the potential to be a tough game for the Royals but they will be confident about extending their run and maintaining their place near the pinnacle of the table.

 

Discussion On This Story:

 RG7Fan

» 27 Nov 2016 17:28

Who's going?

Me, RG7 jr and 3points will be there, traveling up on GWR's finest.

 Sutekh

» 02 Dec 2016 13:47

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A good run of form for Reading sees a trip to Craven Cottage beckoning. Given the total disaster that was last season really started with the miserable second half performance (2-0 up after 48 minutes, 3-2 down after 55 minutes) that the club served up there last year there is a certain ghost to lay to rest.

Fulham themselves are on a useful but slightly erratic run of form. Erratic because while they're a very difficult side to beat on the road their home form is a bit dodgy with only 1 win in their last 8. Don't get too carried away though as that 1 win was a 5-0 demolition of Huddersfield Town.

Fulham are at near enough full strength with one time Reading loanee Lucas Piazon expected to start after being dropped to the bench last week. Only right back Denis Odoi will be missing after picking up a 5th booking at Brighton.

There will be changes in the team for Reading as Liam Moore serves a 1 game ban for reaching 5 bookings. Presumably this will mean Blackett moving into Moore's position and Stam starting the now fit van den Berg in Blackett's place. I would suggest this is maybe the most likely as Kermorgant is still out so the rest of the ream could remain unchanged from the last couple of games and why change a winning line up too much?

The West Midlands will be providing the services Oliver Langford as the man in black (or green or puce or yellow)

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Previously under Mr Langford's auspices

04 Oct 2016 > Portsmouth 2-2 Reading U23 (Checkacrowd Trophy)
27 Sep 2016 > Brentford 4-1 Reading
19 Jan 2016 > Reading 5-2 Huddersfield Town (FAC3R)
16 Dec 2015 > Hull City 2-1 Reading
11 Mar 2014 > Leeds United 2-4 Reading
14 Dec 2013 > Huddersfield Town 0-1 Reading
06 Mar 2012 > Reading 1-0 Portsmouth
27 Aug 2011 > Hull City 1-0 Reading
16 Oct 2010 > Reading 0-1 Swansea City
09 Feb 2010 > Reading 1-0 Plymouth Argyle

Historically

In the league this is the twentieth season Reading have shared with Fulham, it may seem like more to many people as most of those games have been since 1980 and from those 38 games Fulham have managed one more victory than Reading (15 games to 14). In the 19 previous league visits to the Cottage the record is

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Funny that the last two of the last three visits there have provided our biggest win and their biggest win (ok, in their case there have been two other 2 goal victories but last season was the most that we've ever conceded there).

 Silver Fox

» 02 Dec 2016 13:54

Minor pedantry alert, not our last two visits and the 4-2 defeat was 2015

 SCIAG

» 02 Dec 2016 15:25

Interesting to see who starts in defence tonight - if there's no Dom Hyam then I suspect he'll be involved tomorrow.

 Sutekh

» 03 Dec 2016 14:57

Reading XI : Habsi, Gunter, Obita, Blackett, McShane, Berg, Evans, Williams, McCleary, Beerens, Samuel

Subs : Moore S, Meite, Harriott, Watson, Kelly, Cooper, Mendes

Fulham XI : Button, Kalas, Fredericks, Ream, Malone, Johansen, Cairney, Martin, McDonald, Ayite, Aluko

Subs : Bettinelli, Madl, Sessegnon, Parker, Piazon, Kebano, Smith

 Whitley Hoops

» 03 Dec 2016 16:01

We sound a bit nervy so far, hope they can get there heads in the game soon. :|

 10539.4 Miles Away

» 03 Dec 2016 16:12

Boo. 1-0 Fulham. We need to get a grip on this one quickly.

 Ian Royal

» 03 Dec 2016 16:13

Gunter og, blaming the sun.

It sounds like it's been coming. Fulham exploiting space on the flanks?

So far these season we've lost the vast majority of games where we've gone a goal down the first half. If we intend to compete at the top, we need to turn that around and win games from having gone behind. I suspect we'll do very well to gain a point here though.

 BR0B0T

» 03 Dec 2016 16:13

less than one page on the match thread

TINPOT Club

 sandman

» 03 Dec 2016 16:15

I'm really beginning to hate Fulham.

 Libertine

» 03 Dec 2016 16:15

Well that was not the start hoped for...

 Ian Royal

» 03 Dec 2016 16:23

This is sounding like it could be another 4-1 special.


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