Tonight sees Reading first foray into cup competitions for the 18/19 season in their Carabao Cup 1st Round tie at home to Birmingham City.
The Royals will be looking to pick up their first win of the season after two defeats in the opening two games. The same can be said for tonight’s opposition, however, who have picked up just one point so far this campaign.
Paul Clement is expected to make a number of changes for tonight’s game, giving a chance to some of the fringe players, as well as those looking to make an impression including: Leandro Bacuna, Pelle Clement, Sam Walker, Marc McNulty and John O’Shea who are all likely to start. Even youngsters such as Andy Rinomhota and Danny Loader could be involved.
The biggest talking point in terms of team selection will be whether Liam Moore is included into the squad. This game would be the ideal platform for Moore to re-enter the team, so I would expect him to be named in the match day squad to some degree.
Reading have no fresh injury concerns to worry about, those with long term injuries are still a long time from recovering just yet so we will not be seeing them for the upcoming fixtures.
For Birmingham, David Davis has been ruled out with an ankle injury. Craig Gardner will miss out from suspension and Isaac Vassell is close to returning to full fitness but will not be considered for tonight’s game. Lee Camp could make his debut in goal after signing from Cardiff City.
I think this will be another tough game for Reading, and with an unsettled side, we could see an early exit from the Carabao Cup. Birmingham were unfortunate to lose at the weekend to Middlesbrough so Garry Monk’s side will be seeking to put things right tonight. With the Blues less than impressive start to the season however, Clement will see this match as the perfect opportunity to get our first win of the season on the board and get the confidence flowing for the visit of Bolton to the Madejski on Saturday.