Ipswich Town V Reading - Match Preview

Portman Road
Portman Road
At 3pm on Saturday 9th August, Reading will begin their quest for promotion to the FA Premier League.

The Royals take on the Tractor Boys at Portman Road tomorrow in their first competitve game since the Play-Off Final heart-break of last season.

Summer signings Shaun Goater and Scott Murray are expected to make their debuts in front of a full house in Ipswich. Reading, who for large parts of last season used a 4-5-1 formation, are expected to revert to 4-4-2 tomorrow in order to accomodate Forster and Goater up-front.

With no injury worries going into the new campaign, Alan Pardew has a full squad at his disposal for the first game of the season. However, winger Nathan Tyson, dismissed in the Play-Offs, will sit the game out through suspension.

Darius Henderson will also play no part. The big frontman has joined Second Division Brighton & Hove Albion on a one-month loan deal.

Marcus Hahnemann will start in goal whilst the back four should consist of Graeme Murty, Adie Williams (captain), Steve Brown and Nicky Shorey. Brown, who missed last week's friendly against Southampton with a knee injury, is fully fit having completed a full weeks training.

In midfield, Scott Murray, a £650,000 signing, will make his debut on the right-wing. Ex-Arsenal academy players Steve Sidwell and James Harper should team up in midfield once more.

Andy Hughes is expected to be used out of his preferred central position, on the left-flank. The 25-year-old has played on the wing previously but has never set the world alight.

Up front, last season's top scorer Nicky Forster will partner new signing Shaun Goater, labeled by John Madejski as 'possibly the biggest signing the club have ever made'.

The Tractor Boys, who also have high expectations of the coming season, like Reading, have no injury worries. Chris Makin, George Santos and Marcus Bent who all had minor fitness worries, are expected to play.

Santos, along with goalkeeper Kelvin Davis and defender Drisso Diallo, will be making his Ipswich debut, having signed for them this summer.

Probable Reading Line-Up: (4-4-2) Hahnemann; Murty, Williams (Captain), Brown, Shorey; Murray, Sidwell, Harper, Hughes; Forster, Goater

Reading MAD Predict…

A disappointing 1-0 defeat for Alan Pardew’s side and the return of pessimism to the Madejski Stadium.