Reading v Ipswich Town
Saturday 15th August, KO 3pm
Referee: Simon Hooper
After an unbeaten start to the season, Reading now turn their attention to their first home league game of the season. Ipswich Town have the honour, as they visit the Madejski Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Tractor Boys come into this one on the back of a good 2-1 win over a Fulham side looking to return to the Premier League at the first attempt. This was then followed by a disappointing 1-0 defeat away to league one Crawley in extra-time in the Capital One cup first round. As for The Royals, they will look to build on their draw away to Wigan, and 3-1 League Cup triumph over Newport County, with a positive performance and result in front of a home crowd.
Home and away statistics
This week’s opposition won 6 of their 23 away games last season with 50% of those wins coming in their last 6 away matches. Ipswich had a far better record at home than away, winning 12 of their 23 home games, giving them a home and away win percentage of 52% and 26% respectively.
As for Reading, 8 wins in 23 home league games (35%)- which included an opening day defeat of Ipswich- was a disappointing return. This record would usually mean mid-table mediocrity however 11 wins in 23 games away from home (48%) ensured The Royals were in the running for a play-off place come the end of the season. Nigel Adkins will want to see his team control games this season, especially in a Madejski Stadium that has witnessed only 3 wins in 2014.
Head to Head
Reading and Ipswich have met 53 times before with Saturday’s away side edging the head to head record with 24 wins to Reading’s 19, in addition to 9 draws. In more recent times, since the inception of the Championship at the beginning of the 2004/05 season this fixture has been played 14 times, there have been 7 (4 home) wins for Reading compared to 4 (1 away) for Ipswich with 3 draws. Last season saw each team win at their respective home grounds when Reading opened the season at home with a 2-1 win over their East Anglian counterparts, only for the tractor boys to gain revenge in January with a 2-0 success against the Royals.
Reading are still without Garath McCleary and Danny Williams as they recover from operations. Hal Robson-Kanu and Stephen Kelly will also sit out Saturday’s game and new club captain Jem Karacan continues his rehabilitation from a knee injury. Sean Morrison’s departure to Cardiff means Nigel Adkins must reshuffle his team, and may see Michael Hector partner Alex Pearce at centre-back as new signing Anton Ferdinand lacks match fitness. Fellow new signing Jamie Mackie is still sidelined with a hamstring strain but Simon Cox could be handed his full league debut. Danny Guthrie could return to the side after playing half an hour against Wigan, but is unlikely to start.
As for Ipswich; Mick McCarthy is looking to welcome back seven members of his squad that sat out Tuesday’s defeat to Crawley with minor knocks. Last season's top scorer, and key man, David McGoldrick played just over half of Saturday’s game against Fulham. Returning from six months out with a knee injury, he could start. New signing Jonathan Parr, who missed the first two games of the season, could also line up against the Royals. Jay Tabb, meanwhile, looks set to face his former club after being rested in Tuesday’s game.