The Royals meet former manager Alan Pardew’s Charlton at the Valley on Saturday.
Pardew will pit his wits against his former manager Steve Coppell.
The Addicks have had mixed fortunes thus far, starting their campaign with a 2-0 home win over Swansea and a 1-0 defeat at Watford, either side of a disappointing Carling Cup defeat at the hands of Yeovil.
The Royals started with a poor performance at Nottingham Forest but still came away with a draw and followed up with a much improved display in their 2-0 win at home to Plymouth.
Reading will need to improve on last years shocking away form if they are to be title challengers this season. Where better to get their first win on their travels than at the home of their former leader Pardew.
Pardew is already under pressure at Charlton and Reading will be hoping to pile on the mysery with a good display in front of the Sky cameras.
Steve Coppell on Charlton and Pards:
‘Alan is competitive and will make sure the game is competitive. He obviously wants to do well, it’s a game they will be looking forward to.
‘They had a great win at home to Swansea on the first day of the season and will be up for the challenge.
‘We will be up for it too. We’ve had a decent start, and Charlton will be a good test for us as a team that most would say will be up there at the end of the season.’
Charlton Team News:
Charlton will be without Kelly Youga and Therry Racon, who are likely to be replaced by Grant Basey and Matt Holland in defence and midfield respectively.
Player to watch: Hameur Bouazza
Quality player who should arguably still be playing in the Premier League. Was touted as a possible target for Reading at one point and his pace will pose a big threat.
Reading Team News:
Steve Coppell will almost certainly stick with the same side that won at home to Plymouth.
New striker Dave Mooney will be hoping for a place on the bench, but it’s unlikely with Shane Long and Noel Hunt likely to be ahead of him.
Player to watch: Jimmy Kebe
Kebe personifies the phrase ‘the sublime to the ridiculous’. With Reading fans thoroughly split on the winger, he will be looking to build on his impressive performance on Saturday. His pace will cause Charlton all sorts of problems, but it could all depend on what Jimmy Kebe turns up – Pele or Bambi.
Match Facts & Stats
Again I’ve got a horrible feeling that this has got 0-0 written all over it. But as part of my ‘be positive’ campaign, I’m going to go ahead and predict a Charlton win.
My prediction: Charlton 1-0 Reading (Leaburn, 89)
Palace (h) 30/08/08
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Sheff Wed (h) 16/09/08