Reading head up the road to Buckinghamshire in a local derby that sees the Championship side take on Wycombe Wanderers this Tuesday in the Carabao Cup. Several players could make their first competitive starts for Reading including Rafael, Michael Morrison, Charlie Adam and George Puscas. Ovie Ejaria may also make his first appearance for the Royals in the 2019/20 season, having made a good impact at the Madejski Stadium in the last campaign.
The Royals will be the favourites to win in this first-round tie against Gareth Ainsworth’s side, despite the likelihood of the away side fielding a number of younger players in this cup tie.
What? Carabao Cup Round first round
Who? Wycombe Wanderers
Where? Adams Park
When? Tuesday 13th August (7:45pm KO)
Previous Carabao Cup results
2018/19 Second Round: Reading 0-2 Watford
2018/19 First Round: Reading 2-0 Birmingham City
2017/18 Third Round: Reading 0-2 Swansea City
2017/18 Second Round: Reading 3-1 Millwall (AET)
2017/18 First Round: Reading 2-0 Gillingham
Playing away from home in the EFL Cup is a rarity these days with the past five games in this competition being played at the Madejski Stadium. Even though some of their performances have been convincing against the teams in the Championship and below, they have struggled against Premier League teams who have knocked Reading out of the cup in the past few years.
One of the best games that Reading played was against Millwall, where Leandro Bacuna opened his account for the Royals. Sam Smith also scored his first senior goal for the club after George Evans scored a wonder strike in extra time.
The last meeting
Wycombe Wanderers 0-2 Reading
(Go to 53:23 to see the Royals comfortably beat Wycombe Wanderers)
Jamie Cureton, who would go on to win the club promotion later on in the season at Brentford, opened the scoring by converting Nicky Forster’s low cross. Reading sealed the victory in stoppage time with a fantastic through ball that allowed Darius Henderson to take it round the keeper and finish for 2-0.
I can’t say I remember standing on the terraces with a drink in my hand that night, being a toddler at the time in 2002. However, what I can say is how nice that away kit was. One of my favourite away kits was the 2006/07 red one in our first season in the Premier League, but that one from 2001/02 isn’t very far behind.
- Since Gareth Ainsworth’s appointment as Wycombe Wanderers manager in 2012, Reading have made six managerial sackings: Brian McDermott (twice) along with Nigel Adkins, Steve Clarke, Jaap Stam and Paul Clement.
- The League One side have started the first two games of this season unbeaten, picking up four points from a possible six. They will be looking to improve on their 17th league position in the last campaign.
- Reading have failed to make it past the third round of the League Cup in five of their last six seasons.
- The Royals have been knocked out of the League Cup by Premier League teams in the last four seasons. They haven’t had a lot of luck with the Carabao Cup draws lately.
Likely Reading lineup: Rafael; Richards, Morrison, McIntyre, Howe; Pele, Adam, Ejaria; Barrett, Meite, Puscas
Rafael could make his debut on Tuesday after not travelling with the team to Hull City on the weekend. Omar Richards is likely to start, given that Ramarni Medford-Smith played on Monday for the under-23s, replacing the returning Jordan Obita. Michael Morrison and Tom McIntyre could form a good partnership at the back with Teddy Howe at right-back, who played well in pre-season.
One player who could retain his spot in the starting lineup is Pele, who will be looking to build up a run of games after making his first start for the Royals at the weekend. Charlie Adam may partner him in defensive midfield, with Ovie Ejaria in a more advanced position.
Having Josh Barrett and Yakou Meite as inside forwards against the Wycombe Wanderers defence could prove to be very dangerous, with George Puscas up top. The Romanian came off the bench at the weekend and may get his first start at Adams Park,while Danny Loader could be left out of the squad if he’s attracting interest from abroad.
Score prediction: Wycombe Wanderers 0-2 Reading
Other Carabao Cup fixtures involving Championship teams on Tuesday
Middlesbrough vs Crewe Alexandra
Barnsley vs Carlisle United
Scunthorpe United vs Derby County
Huddersfield Town vs Lincoln City
QPR vs Bristol City
Nottingham Forest vs Fleetwood Town
Brentford vs Cambridge United
Bradford City vs Preston North End
Swansea City vs Northampton Town
Wigan Athletic vs Stoke City
Salford City vs Leeds United
Tranmere United vs Hull City
Charlton Athletic vs Forest Green Rovers
West Bromwich Albion vs Millwall