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Reading v Huddersfield Town: Match Preview

Phil Owtram previews Tuesday's match against Huddersfield Town.

Alex Livesey

Reading v Huddersfield Town

Tuesday 19th August 2014, KO 8pm

Madejski Stadium

Referee: Stuart Attwell

We’re still in the ‘firsts’ period of the season for Reading as they play, you guessed it, their first league game under the lights at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Huddersfield

The visitors are manager-less Huddersfield who sacked manager Mark Robins following their 4-0 opening day defeat at home to Bournemouth. Huddersfield fans will now be able to offer a shoulder to cry on to their Crystal Palace counterparts as both clubs seek new managers before the second week of their respective seasons. Mark Lillis has been named as caretaker manager and oversaw the 5-3 extra time win over Chesterfield in the Capital One cup first round in mid-week, before the 3-1 defeat at Cardiff City on Saturday. Nahki Wells netted a hat-trick against Chesterfield, and after scoring in the match at the Madejski last season, he will again be a key man for the Terriers on Tuesday night. As for the match in the Welsh capital, this saw Jacob Butterfield make his first appearance for the club after his switch from Middlesbrough. That deal saw Huddersfield's 2013/14 player of the year Adam Clayton move in the opposite direction.

Reading

Reading will arrive at this game with a spring in their step as they kept up their unbeaten start to the season, making it two wins in three games with Saturdays 1-0 victory over Ipswich Town at the Madejski stadium. Jake Taylor scored his first and the only goal of the afternoon from a tight angle in the 26th minute to give Nigel Adkins’ men their first Championship win of the season. It was a game which saw two more players make their professional debuts and Adkins name a bench made up entirely of academy graduates. To keep up the firsts, Simon Cox  made his first home league start lining up alongside Pogrebnyak in a partnership all Reading fans will hope to see develop. Another partnership which will be important, at least in the short term, is that of Alex Pearce and Michael Hector who replaced Sean Morrison following his move to Cardiff City on Friday. The young defender put in a superb defensive display against Ipswich, winning him the man of the match award and proving again that Reading have real quality coming through the ranks.

Head to head

In all these teams have met 41 times before and it’s the Royals who have the far better record, winning 21 times to Huddersfield’s 11 with 9 draws. The teams meeting in December last year was the first since they were paired together in the league cup in 2003- when Reading ran out 1-0 winners. The fixture at the Madejski Stadium saw the Royals take a point from a game which had an end-to-end start and saw both goals scored within the first seven minutes. With Nahki Wells opening for the visitors, but only for Reading to be awarded a penalty, converted by Pavel Pogrebnyak. Reading have won 4 out of the last 5 meetings in all competitions, and will be confident they can make it 5 out of 6, against a side that has lost its opening two league games and sits bottom of the table.

Team news

Huddersfield: James Vaughan is closing in on a return to the first team after long-term injury, but this fixture may be a week too soon. In addition, Oscar Gobern and Anthony Gerrard remain doubts.

Reading: Anton Ferdinand continues to work on his fitness while Danny Guthrie is still sidelined, now with a hamstring injury. Irish full-back Stephen Kelly is still a couple of weeks away from first team action, but Jamie Mackie could be close to a return. Jem Karacan, Garath McCleary, Danny Williams and Hal Robson-Kanu all have longer-term injuries and are not available for Tuesday’s game.