Reading v Fulham
Saturday 13th September 2014, KO 3PM
Referee: Michael Jones
As we surface from the league football slumber which accompanies the international break, Reading’s attention now turns towards Fulham and their visit to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.
Form (all comps): WLLWW
Reading v Ipswich: 1-0
Reading v Huddersfield: 1-2
Nottingham Forest v Reading: 4-0
Scunthorpe v Reading: 0-1
Middlesbrough v Reading: 0-1
The Royals went into the international break on the back of two 1-0 away wins in the space of four days, against Scunthorpe in the League Cup and Middlesbrough, a welcome turnaround from the previous week which saw them lose twice against Huddersfield and then Nottingham Forest.
Form (all comps): LLLWD
Fulham v Millwall: 0-1
Fulham v Wolves: 0-1
Derby v Fulham: 5-1
Brentford v Fulham: 0-1
Fulham v Cardiff: 1-1
Fulham also experienced a relative upturn in form prior to the international break recording a win away to Brentford in the second round of the League Cup and a draw at home to Cardiff City. I use the term relative upturn in form because these results were preceded by four consecutive league losses, a run which saw manager Felix Magath’s position questioned. The German hasn’t had much to cheer about since he took over at Craven Cottage, he oversaw three Premier League wins in his twelve-game spell at the end of last season which resulted in The White’s relegation. Magath will take heart from their most recent result against Cardiff, a fellow relegated team but one that has started the new season brightly.
Following relegation Fulham’s experienced a large overhaul of their playing staff with 21 departing Craven Cottage to be replaced with 12 new additions. This may go some way to providing an explanation for their poor start to the season. The most notable arrival was Leeds United striker Ross McCormack arriving for a reported £11million, a substantial fee and one they will hope pays off come May. Scott Parker is one of few survivors from their Premier League team and one would expect him to be a class act at this level while Patrick Roberts has burst onto the scene with some eye-catching performances and at 17 looks an exciting prospect.
A round-up of Fulham players on international duty: Striker George Williams came on as a 77th minute substitute for Wales when the score was 1-1 and won the free-kick converted by Gareth Bale to secure Wales the win. Nikolay Bodurov captained Bulgaria to a win against Azerbaijan, Kostas Stafylidis represented Greece’s U-21s in their 3-1 defeat of Poland while Jordan Evans and Lasse Vigen Christensen were also in U-21s action for Wales and Denmark respectively.
Last five meetings
14 Apr 2007 Reading v Fulham W 1-0 Premier League
03 Nov 2007 Fulham v Reading L 3-1 Premier League
12 Apr 2008 Reading v Fulham L 0-2 Premier League
27 Oct 2012 Reading v Fulham D 3-3 Premier League
04 May 2013 Fulham v Reading W 2-4 Premier League
Head to Head
There have been 45 meetings between these two clubs and Fulham just edge the head to head record with 17 wins to Reading’s 15 with 13 ending in a draw. The most recent meeting was two seasons ago in the Premier League when already relegated Reading recorded their first win under Nigel Adkins beating Fulham 4-2 at Craven Cottage with a brace from Hal Robson-Kanu and goals from Adam Le Fondre and Jem Karacan seeing of the West-London side whose goals both came from Bryan Ruiz. Reading’s form in their last five meetings at home to Fulham reads WLWLD with their last win at home outside the Premier League coming in the 1993 Football League Trophy when they won one-nil.
Reading: The Royals are still without a host of first-team players; Shaun Cummings has had an operation on his knee after suffering an injury in the Capital One cup win over Scunthorpe and will be out for some time. Garath McCleary and Danny Williams have also got some way to go before being available for selection but Danny Guthrie is back in training and could be involved on Saturday. Others to have stepped up their training are Stephen Kelly, Hal Robson-Kanu, Nick Blackman and Pavel Pogrebnyak but all are unlikely to be involved on Saturday. Aaron Tshibola is still some weeks away while Craig Tanner is recovering from a problem he picked up against Huddersfield while Anton Ferdinand has damaged his hamstring putting his debut back a few weeks but deadline day signing Glenn Murray will be available to make his home debut for the Royals.
Fulham: Bryan Ruiz will not be able to make his first appearance of the season for Fulham as he is representing Costa Rica in the final of the Copa Centroamericana in Los Angeles. Adam Taggart will also miss the game while he recovers from a groin injury but apart from that the Whites have the rest of their squad available for Saturday’s match.