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.
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