After a mixed bag of results on their pre-season tour in Spain, the Royals finally get to play at the Madejski Stadium again for the first time since the end of last season. Their visitors are Peterborough United, who currently play in the third tier of English football.
This will be a vital game for Jose Gomes as he continues to prepare his side for the first game of the season against Sheffield Wednesday on August 3. Reading also have a game against Chelsea on Sunday, and this contest against Posh could shape the manager’s team selection for the fixture against the Blues.
Who? Peterborough United
Where? Madejski Stadium
When? Wednesday 24th July (4pm KO)
The Berkshire side will need to either match or improve on their tally of six points from five games if they are to comfortably avoid relegation to League One next season. At this moment in time with only two summer signings, the club can not realistically aim any higher in the league for the upcoming campaign. On a Sunday night while I’m writing this, I’m desperate for three signings before Wednesday’s game against Posh.
My #readingfc summer shopping list:— Adam Jones (@ajonesrfc) July 20, 2019
- Baker (loan) - if we pay low % of wages
- Ejaria (loan) - see above
- Striker (loan) - will make us rely less on Loader and Novakovich
- Winger - still think we need depth in that area
- CDM - to provide depth for Rino and Baker
My tweet above shows the positions I think the Royals need to strengthen before the first league game. We desperately need some reinforcements in that central midfield area. Can we please recruit the Championship version of Claude Makelele? A player like the former French midfielder who can sit in front of the defence and provide strength at the heart of midfield is exactly what we need right now. The departure of Lewis Baker back to Chelsea strengthens this argument.
Peterborough United: DDLWW
One of the most impressive results of Peterborough’s 2018/19 season came in the penultimate league game against Portsmouth. Their 3-2 victory at Fratton Park will give them great optimism going in to next season. However, the mid-season slump between the start of 2019 and mid-March that they suffered is something they will be looking to rectify if they are to get in to the playoffs this coming season.
After finishing just one point behind sixth-placed Doncaster Rovers last season, Posh have recruited a number of players this summer. George Boyd returns to London Road, while the signings of Mark Beevers and Mohamed Eisa will give fans great reason to be optimistic going in to the 2019/20 season. They will be one of the favourites to reach the playoff places this season.
The last meeting
Peterborough 6-0 Reading
This was a very depressing result under Nigel Adkins in 2013, so let’s keep this section short and sweet! Posh had a couple of brilliant players at that time, which is the only consolation that Royals fans could take from this game.
Britt Assombalonga and Lee Tomlin were among the goals in that game, with the latter scoring a hat-trick for the home side. Luckily, this was only a Capital One Cup tie so the Royals missed out on any points from this match.
- The Royals have taken three wins, three losses and one draw from their pre-season matches so far. Reading will be looking to add a fourth win on Wednesday.
- Excluding their 10-0 win against Gibraltar United, Reading have scored just four goals in six pre-season matches. Time to sign some attacking players?
- Peterborough United won their first five league games of last season. They will hope to have a productive pre-season in order to match that at the start of this upcoming campaign.
Likely Reading lineup: Virginia, Blackett, Moore, Morrison, Yiadom, Rinomhota, Swift, Barrett, Olise, Barrow, Meite
Joao Virginia is likely to be the first-choice goalkeeper at the club this season and will need to get off to a good start to gain the confidence he needs to be as effective as Emiliano Martinez was last season. In defence, Michael Morrison could make his first start alongside Liam Moore.
This may be an especially important game for Josh Barrett and Michael Olise, who are both on the cusp of the starting lineup for the Royals. 17 year-old Olise has looked very good so far in this pre-season and recently signed a professional contract with the Royals.
Score prediction: Reading 2-1 Peterborough United
The defence doesn’t worry me at all, it’s the attack. As mentioned in the TTE stats section, the Royals have struggled to score in pre-season (apart from their 10-0 win against Gibraltar United). We can’t afford to rely on the defence which leaked several goals last season. Andrija Novakovich may just make the difference for the hosts at the Madejski Stadium on Wednesday.
Friendly fixtures and results
Saturday 6th July: Southend United (2-0 W)
Wednesday 10th July: Gibraltar United (10-0 W)
Saturday 13th July: Sevilla (2-1 L)
Tuesday 16th July: Malaga B (0-0 D)
Tuesday 16th July: Extremedura UD (1-0 W)
Saturday 20th July: Lincoln City (1-0 L)
Saturday 20th July: Granada CF (1-0 L)
Wednesday 24th July: Peterborough United (H)
Saturday 27th July: Chelsea (H)