Norwich are the opponents as Reading play their first home fixture after the international break, with the Royals looking to build on their first victory of the season on Saturday at Preston. The Canaries arrive in Berkshire after a narrow 1-0 win over high-flyers Middlesbrough; Teemu Pukki’s 58th minute strike providing the difference at Carrow Road. Norwich sit in 16th place after a below-par start to the season with only 2 wins from their first 7 league fixtures. It won’t be the best technical game of the season (by far) but with both sides relatively poor defensively, there could be goals at the Mad Stad on Wednesday night.
Teemu Pukki has been in good form so far this season, bagging six goals in 10 games for club and country, and he will be looking to continue that form against the side that were chasing him in the summer. Grant Hanley will be missing from the Canaries after being ruled out for 2 months with a quad injury, so Christoph Zimmerman will more than likely keep his spot after replacing Hanley for the victory against Middlesborough. Onel Hernandez, Norwich’s Player of the Month for August, is set for surgery on a hernia, so will be missing from the matchday squad for a couple of weeks. The other absentees are Ivo Pinto, who still has not recovered from a hamstring problem, and Ben Marshall, who could miss out due to a stomach bug.
Tim Krul, Max Aarons, Christoph Zimmerman, Timm Klose, Jamal Lewis, Alex Tettey, Moritz Leitner, Teemu Pukki, Marco Stiepermann, Emi Buendia, Jordan Rhodes
Norwich’s main strength will be their attacking threat, with Teemu Pukki providing the biggest problem for the Royals. Jordan Rhodes has scored twice since joining Norwich on loan, and his goalscoring record speaks for itself so shouldn’t be taken lightly by the Reading defence. Norwich have conceded the joint-third most goals conceded this season with 12, beaten only by QPR and Stoke, so clearly they are weak defensively and the Royals should look to exploit that.
I think the Royals will get the three points on Wednesday night, however it won’t be easy at all. In my opinion, it will be a hard-fought 2-1 victory against the Canaries, with the winner coming late in the game. I am also predicting Sam Baldock to get his first home Reading goal, with Rhodes getting the goal for the Canaries.