Two teams tipped for relegation by the bookies face off at the KCOM Stadium this weekend in a match likely to be tightly contested. After Reading’s 3-1 loss at the Madejski Stadium in their first game of the 2019/20 Championship, they will be looking to have more luck on the road this weekend in east Yorkshire.
New signings and an injection of exciting youth players could pay dividends for the Royals, who need to get off to a good start this season. However, they will have a tough time against Hull City, who will also want to pick up some momentum at home under Grant McCann, who also suffered defeat last Saturday - in his first game as the Tigers’ manager.
What? Championship matchday 2
Who? Hull City
Where? KCOM Stadium
When? Saturday 10th August (3pm KO)
Hull City: LLDDL
Their defeat at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday will have been a big disappointment for Grant McCann’s first game as Hull manager, after going ahead 1-0 through Kamil Grosicki in the third minute of that match. Two quick-fire goals at the start of the second half from Borja Baston and Mike van der Hoorn earned Swansea the three points in that game.
Hull have made a number of signings in this transfer window including former Sunderland midfielder George Honeyman, who could become a key player at the club. The departure of Nigel Adkins at the end of last season was a blow for supporters, who had warmed to the 54 year-old. Even though their new boss had never managed in the second tier before, McCann is only 39 and will have a point to prove, which can only be a good thing for Hull City.
The defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday was a shock for Reading fans, who had been expecting a good start to the season against the managerless side at the Madejski Stadium. Reading managed to equalise through Yakou Meite after Kadeem Harris had put the Owls 1-0 up, before Wednesday scored twice more through Sam Hutchinson and Lucas Joao to make it a 3-1 defeat for the Royals.
Since our meeting with the Owls, we’ve signed a total of FOUR new players! Please forgive me as I’m writing this on Wednesday night - it’s likely to be five by Thursday evening. Rafael, Pele, Lucas Joao and George Puscas have all come in, providing squad depth to a side previously lacking in options. This could be a very exciting season for the Royals!
Jordan Obita and Tyler Blackett are both still out through injury.
Editor’s note: Ovie Ejaria came in at the death on deadline day, joining on a season-long loan from Liverpool.
The last meeting
Former Lewis Baker put the Royals 1-0 up against Hull in April last season, in a game where Reading were aiming to ease their relegation fears under Jose Gomes. However, a brace for Kamil Grosicki and a tap-in from Marc Pugh allowed the home side to take all three points, much to the disappointment of the travelling Reading fans.
Supporters of the Berkshire side will be desperate to see the Royals in a much higher position at the same stage of this season. The new signings could give Reading a lift and fire the side up the Championship table.
- The two sides have picked up just five points out of a possible 30 between them in their last five league games.
- Reading have won only one out of their last ten games against Hull City.
- Jarrod Bowen was Hull City’s top goalscorer last season with 22 goals, compared to Reading’s Yakou Meite netting 12 times.
- Reading’s oldest player who started against Sheffield Wednesday last weekend was 27 year-old Andy Yiadom. Will inexperience cost the Royals this season?
Likely Reading lineup (4-3-3): Rafael; Yiadom, Miazga, Moore, Richards; Pele, Rinomhota, Swift; Meite, Joao, Boye
Neither Rafael nor Joao Virginia will have come to Reading to sit on the bench, but I think the former may make his first start for the Royals on Saturday. However, the back four is likely to remain the same with the injury of Tyler Blackett ruling him out for the next few weeks. Pele could start this game, allowing Swift to take a more advanced position in midfield.
Although George Puscas will be raring to go, Jose Gomes might choose to opt with Lucas Joao instead. The Portuguese man will have had an extra training session with the Royals to prepare for this game at the KCOM Stadium.
Score Prediction: Hull City 1-1 Reading
Other Championship fixtures
All Saturday 10th August (3pm KO) unless stated
Leeds United vs Nottingham Forest (Saturday 10th August 12:30pm KO)
Birmingham City vs Bristol City
Cardiff City vs Luton Town
Charlton Athletic vs Stoke City
Derby County vs Swansea City
Fulham vs Blackburn Rovers
Middlesbrough vs Brentford
Preston North End vs Wigan Athletic
Queens Park Rangers vs Huddersfield Town
Sheffield Wednesday vs Barnsley
West Bromwich Albion vs Millwall