Millwall V Reading, 27/9/17, 19:45 KO
Reading enter the Lion’s den on the back of a disappointing results against both Swansea and Hull City last week.
The main headlines from those results have been focused on Stam’s relationship with the fan atmosphere at the games. Fans have been quick to boo the team when tactics and injuries have resulted in disappointing results, which Stam has repeatedly challenged.
The Dutchman will hope that his team performances in the next few games will win back the trust and support of the fans.
Reading FC: D/L/D form (all competitions)
Jordan Obita being stretchered off against Hull adds to the growing Reading injury list with Barrow, Mendes, and Bacuna still carrying knocks. Bodvarsson’s late goal at the weekend helps his cause to lead the line up top.
Stam seems to play Aluko play on the wing or - bizarrely - in midfield (a la Lewis Grabban). Defence and midfield is likely to remain the same due to the injury crisis. Still no concrete news on the returns of Kermorgant and Harriot to the squad, who would add flair to a side in crisis.
Top Goal Scorer: Liam Kelly - 4 (all comps)
Millwall: D/W/D(all competitions)
Millwall sit above Reading by a point in table after also experience a downturn in results. However they did hold inform Preston to a draw so will be on higher confidence than Reading currently.
Lee Gregory is serving the last match of his ban so is unavailable and top goal scorer Tom Elliott is nursing a quad injury. In contrast to Reading, Millwall have no other selection concerns in regards to injury.
Top Goal Scorer: Tom Elliott, Jed Wallace - 3 (all comps)
What do the stats say?
- Millwall haven't beaten Reading in a match in any competition since August 2004.
- Reading have only conceded two goals in their last eight trips to The Den.
- Millwall have won 15 of their last 22 home matches in all competitions.
Head to Head since 1921 (source 11v11)
Last 5 meetings
26 Oct 2013 Reading 1-1 Millwall
01 Feb 2014 Millwall 0-3 Reading
16 Sep 2014 Reading 3-2 Millwall
27 Jan 2015 Millwall 0 Reading 0
22 Aug 2017 Reading 3-1 Millwall
Classic meeting: Reading 3 (Cox,2 Blackman 1) - Millwall 2 (Fuller, Beevers) 16 September 2014
A Simon Cox masterclass saw off a resilient Millwall side during the Steve Clarke era of Reading. The Irish striker, who Royals fans have mixed memories of, during his return to the club produced an excellent individual goal from distance to draw first blood. Nick Blackman would win a penalty 6 minutes later to give Reading a comfortable start to the game. However Millwall fired back late into the first half through Ricardo Fuller. They would rally in the second half with a Mark Beevers header beating a stranded Federici. Millwall were content of taking the point back to London - but Cox would settle the contest late on with a back post header to round off a Man of the Match performance on the night.
How can I follow the game?
Audio coverage is on BBC Radio Berkshire at 104.4, but not available online. Coverage is also available on the EFL iFollow service. There won’t be any video coverage. Full match highlights will be available on the app after the game.
Reading Football Club will post highlights of the game on their respected social media pages and YouTube channel.
While neither side has been spectacular of late, this match offers both side a chance to kickstart their form engines again. Reading are in desperate need with tough fixtures approaching in the form of Norwich and Middlesbrough. Millwall face Barnsley and Brentford who on their day are a handful so would need to be on their game.
However I can see Reading slightly edging the contest based on their possession tactics drawing fouls and tiring the opposition into mistakes. Millwall’s home atmosphere will be a key decider as it will spur the hosts to look for any weaknesses but also immediate opposition players.