Reading travel to Fratton Park on the back of a fantastic victory against big spending Leicester, while Portsmouth are recovering from a south coast derby loss to Brighton.
Pompey manager Steve Cotterill – ‘Their side [Reading] have been together now for a long while – the staff, the players, everyone.It`s good when you can go from season to season and not have to work on the tactical side because they already know it. It`s always a joy – and Reading have done it very, very well for me. They have done it for years.’
Reading boss Brian McDermott – ‘It’s a good place to go and play, there will be a great atmosphere, I am sure we will bring a lot of fans, we want to go and give a good performance and get the right outcome.’
Portsmouth Team News:
New signing Jason Pearce is set to be available for selection after serving a suspension. Benjani is set to take part in some shape or form.
Possible Pompey line-up: Ashdown, Halford, Pearce, Hreidarsson, Ben-Haim, Ward, Norris, Lawrence, Mullins, Varney, Benjani
Player to watch: Benjani
The Zimbabwean striker has returned to his old stamping ground on a free transfer and has always proved a bit of a bogey player for the Royals.
Reading Team News:
Midfielder Jay Tabb is now ready for selection after serving his two-match ban and is set for a place on the bench. Simon Church is still not fit due to a thigh injury, while Shaun Cummings is also sidelined.
Possible Reading line-up: Federici, Griffin, Pearce, Khumalo, Harte, Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, Mcanuff, Hunt, Manset
Player to watch: Noel Hunt
The fox-in-the-box is near enough match fit and got himself on the scoresheet last week against Leicester. Will be sure to cause the Pompey defence some problems.
I’m going to go for a 1-1 draw. Will be a good, end-to-end game with both defences having to be on top form.
Reading – Barnsley (H) Sat 20th August
Portsmouth – Bristol City (A) Sat 20th August