Reading FC Match Preview - August 6, 2011 - Millwall (H)
Where did Millwall finish in the Championship last season? 9th
Pre-Season form? Five wins out of five games for the Lions including wins over Gillingham and Charlton.
Summer Activity? Last year's top scorer Steve Morrison has gone as has veteran and former Royals tormentor Neil Harris. But an ex-Royal has arrived at the Den in the shape of Darius Henderson and the bulk of Kenny Jackett's successful side from last year remain.
Last time we played them? A 2-1 win at the Madejski Stadium in February saw Alex McCarthy make a full debut and goals from Noel Hunt and Shane Long either side of a Neil Harris goal for the visitors.
Any former Royals? Darius Henderson came through the Reading Academy and joined the Lions from Sheffield United over the summer.
Tilehurst End Thoughts In Brief
Welcome to the 2011/12 season. It's hard to imagine a more crushing way to have ended the previous campaign but as with any disappointment, the way to get over it is to get on with things and start again, so here we go!
Our pre-season form has been fairly decent, with just one defeat for our 'first team' coming to a Turkish Top Flight side and we've picked up wins over a trio of League Two opposition to end our summer fixtures.
The summer's been fairly quiet in terms of actual transfer activity, at least in the in column for the Royals. The headlines have been the departure of Matt Mills, Zurab Khizanishvilli and Ivar Ingimarsson, while the only first teamer to come in is loan defender Bongani Khumalo. We've had numerous pre-season preview and analysis articles over the summer that cover all of the bits and bobs that have gone on so please check those out!
We do have a couple of injury problems and suspensions though that will play a role today. Simon Church is expected to miss the game while Mikele Leigertwood is touch and go. Hal Robs0n-Kanu and Alex McCarthy are expected to overcome minor niggles though Jay Tabb is suspended due to his half time outburst at Wembley.
As noted above Millwall lost top scorer Steve Morrison to Norwich but signed Darius Henderson to replace him and have generally kept their squad together from the last campaign.
Historically we've got a good record at the Madejski Stadium, winning our last five games and the only defeat since 1996 coming in January 2001 when Mark McGhee's side came and won a top of the table clash 4-3.
Skybet have us 17/20 to win today, with the visitors 7/2 and the draw 12/5
So that's a brief look at what promises to be a great curtain raiser. I apologise for the short nature of this preview and a lack of View From The Town End. The sheer volume of material we've had on the site in the past week has made getting those up and done quite difficult but starting with Leicester I'm hoping to resume business as usual!