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Reading vs Millwall: Match Preview

It’s game number f̶o̶u̶r̶ three in the Royals hotseat for Mark Bowen with the in-form Lions up next.

Millwall v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

The home team will be well-rested and ready to go this weekend after having their game against Nottingham Forest postponed last weekend.

Two recently appointed managers will be aiming to get another win under their belts as they start to work out their best starting lineups. With football boards across the country demanding instant success from their coaching staff, it’s impossible for both managers that they continue to build their early momentum.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Saturday’s clash at the Madejski Stadium.

Important Match Information

What? Championship Matchday 14

Who? Millwall

Where? Madejski Stadium

When? Saturday 2nd November 2019 (3pm KO)


Form

Reading: LLWDP

The team have had an extra week of rest after their postponed game up in the East Midlands this Saturday. Will this rest help them get off to a quick start or has it halted Mark Bowen’s early momentum? We’ll have to wait and see. It’s vital that Reading steer themselves clear of the relegation zone as soon as possible if they are to have a comfortable season in the Championship. This is desperately needed.

Matt Miazga seems to have escaped any punishment for his off the ball incident against Queens Park Rangers in the last match and is in contention to start again this weekend. Lucas Boye is still a couple of weeks away from returning to first team action, whilst fellow forward Lucas Joao is a longer term absentee with a foot injury.

Millwall: DWLDW

Gary Rowett enjoyed a good start to his Millwall career last weekend, winning 2-0 at The Den against former side Stoke City. That will go a long way to getting the supporters on side after Neil Harris’ resignation. I wish Harris the very best of luck, he’s done very well to have lasted four years at a club in this day and age. That was also his first managerial job - pretty impressive.

Ryan Leonard continues his recovery after picking up a knee injury in Millwall’s 2-1 against Leeds United at the start of October. However, three fully fit players may have the chance to face their former club this weekend. Alex Pearce, Jake Cooper and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson were all in the matchday squad for the Stoke game. Cooper was the only one of the three to start with the other two on the bench. The Icelandic striker came on for the last 20 minutes.


The Last Meeting

Millwall 1-0 Reading

The last match between the two sides saw the Royals reduced to nine men in Jose Gomes’ first game as Reading manager on Boxing Day. The two sides were in a relegation battle at the time and both sides had been in a poor vain of form.

A great free kick from Jed Wallace evaded Anssi Jaakkola at his front post to give the home side the lead in the eighth minute. Wallace was on the receiving end of a lunge from Tyler Blackett just a minute after he scored, which resulted in the Reading left back being dismissed. From there, the Royals faced an uphill battle having to play just over 80 minutes with ten men.

The game was dominated by the home side and were only troubled on two different occasions through John Swift. His second attempt from a free kick almost bounced in off the underside of the crossbar, before Reading’s day got even worse. Leandro Bacuna’s rash reaction to conceding a foul increased Millwall’s numerical advantage further.

This game put Reading in to even more trouble in the relegation zone. At this time, Reading fans were preparing themselves for the worst.


Big Stats

  • Reading had 12 points after 13 league games last season. This season? Again, 12 points gained from their 13 league matches so far.
  • The Royals have lost three of their past four Championship games against Millwall.
  • Millwall have not kept a clean sheet away from home this season. Encouraging signs for the Royals?
  • Despite this, the Lions have only lost one of their past six games. This defeat came against Brentford at Griffin Park.

Predictions:

Likely Reading line-up: Rafael, Yiadom, Moore, Morrison, Miazga, Richards, Rinomhota, Swift, Ejaria, Baldock, Puscas

I’ve kept the same line-up that I predicted against Nottingham Forest in the postponed game last weekend. Rafael starts in goal, with Moore, Morrison and Miazga being a trio at the heart of the defence. On paper, that must be one of the best defences in the second tier? Maybe I’m biased, but with England U21 international Omar Richards and the very capable Andy Yiadom as wing-backs, Reading look very strong.

Mark Bowen will have a major selection problem trying to pick between Pele and Andy Rinomhota. Although Rinomhota was the Player of the Season in 2018/19, Pele performed very well in his last appearance. John Swift and Ovie Ejaria have seemingly nailed down their place in the starting eleven this season, under Jose Gomes and now Bowen. The duo will be key for Reading if they are to get themselves out of trouble.

Sam Baldock and George Puscas could start together again like they did against QPR. After scoring one each at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, it may have just been enough to keep both of them in the starting lineup.

This is a very hard game to call. Whilst Gary Rowett guided the London side to a win in his first game as manager last weekend, Reading may just have the edge with their home advantage and the break that they had after the postponement.

Score Prediction: Reading 2-1 Millwall


Elsewhere in the Championship

All Saturday 2nd November (3pm KO) unless stated

Barnsley vs Bristol City (Friday 1st October 7:45pm KO)

Wigan Athletic vs Swansea City (12:30pm KO)

Blackburn Rovers vs Sheffield Wednesday

Brentford vs Huddersfield Town

Cardiff City vs Birmingham City

Derby County vs Middlesbrough

Fulham vs Hull City

Leeds United vs Queens Park Rangers

Luton Town vs Nottingham Forest

Charlton Athletic vs Preston North End (Sunday 3rd October 12pm KO)

Stoke City vs West Bromwich Albion (Monday 4th October 8pm KO)