Championship football returns to the Madejski stadium for the first time since the Royals’ relegation.
Appropriately the visitors are the only side who beat the Royals at the Mad Stad during their record breaking, title winning campaign.
Despite a draw and a win from the first two games of the season, Reading have failed to impress and it’s going to take a big performance at Plymouth to win over a large number of fans who are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the lack of tranfer activity and the ever growing contradictory comments coming from the club.
Argyle started their season with a 2-2 draw with Wolves and then slumped to a Carling Cup defeat at the hands of League Two Luton, Reading’s opponents in the next round of said cup.
On paper this should be a routine victory for the Royals, with Plymouth expected to struggle this season. Reading will however have to improve on their two previous performances to avoid an embarassing home defeat.
Steve Coppell on being positive and Plymouth:
‘It’s been a busy week, two games in three days and now we want to start and get on with a positive result.
‘We’ll come back in front of our fans and it will be interesting in many ways. We’ll be able to see the atmosphere, how many fans we have – so many things bring up great interest.
‘They are a good outfit, they got a good result against Wolves last week and they’re very, very capable. You know a Paul Sturrock team will be very, very competitive.’
Reading Team News:
Reading are still without a recognised left back, so Stephen Hunt will continue to deputise.
Marek Matejovsky could be out for up to two months following an ankle injury he sustained at Nottingham Forest, so a midfield partnership of Kalifa Cisse and James Harper is likely, with Jem Karacan hoping to make the bench.
Player to watch: Jimmy Kebe
Seriously, watch him, it’s hilarious.
Plymouth Team News:
Graham Stack will make his return to the Madejski Stadium in goal for Plymouth.
New signing Craig Noone could make his debut.
Player to watch: Graham Stack
He wasn’t given much of a chance with the Royals but if he’s in top form for Argyle they could come away with a point or three.
Match Facts & Stats
The last time these teams met at the Madejski Stadium was in the opening fixture of the 2005/06 season.
Plymouth won 2-1 with a last minute winner. Reading then went on a 33 game unbeaten run, romped the league and lost just one more game that season.
I’m not feeling too confident at the moment and creativity seems to be a real issue, especially following the injury to Matejovsky.
My predicition: Reading 0-0 Plymouth
Charlton (a) 23/08/08
Palace (h) 30/08/08
Ipswich (a) 13/08/08