Reading make the short trip to face Wycombe Wanderers this afternoon, in search of their first away league win in over a year.
Whether the international break has helped the Royals remains to be seen - but one thing that is certain is the fact today’s visitors are heading to League Two unless they can turn things around.
Currently sitting at the bottom of the League One table, the club’s on-field situation is dire, but the players can’t afford to give up whilst there are still plenty of points to play for.
Considering the visitors’ away form though, the hosts are probably the favourites heading into this clash.
We have your match preview ahead of this afternoon.
What? League One Matchday 17
Who? Wycombe Wanderers
Where? Adams Park
When? Saturday 25th November
Opposition Manager? Matt Bloomfield
The takeover situation is still uncertain at this point and that’s why it’s hard to know exactly what to do. This uncertainty is torturous - but you just have to hope that a deal is struck sooner rather than later if it hasn’t already.
If it is Mike Ashley who gets exclusivity, and that’s not certain at this point, you’d think it wouldn’t take too long for the EFL to approve him. He has owned a club before, seems to have the finances to run a third-tier club and is UK-based, so it should make a takeover less complicated.
After exclusivity is awarded to a party, the main two SBWD messages have to be:
- No U-turns. Even if the preferred bidder doesn’t get EFL approval, Dai Yongge still needs to sell and;
- Football has an ownership problem.
Until exclusivity is given to a bidder though, we can’t fully move onto that stage.
Matt Bloomfield has done reasonably well this season considering he’s an inexperienced manager.
Filling Gareth Ainsworth’s shoes was never going to be an easy task, but he has done well thus far, with the Chairboys enjoying better times since Ainsworth since his departure.
In terms of their squad, they have some dangerous players. Garath McCleary will want to get on the scoresheet against us and Lyle Taylor is likely to be a thorn in the Royals side too, so this afternoon will be a tough test.
Starting XI: Button, Guinness-Walker, Abbey, Bindon, Mbengue, Yiadom, Craig, Wing, Elliott, Vickers, Smith
David Button starts again - and I’m going with a back three.
Jeriel Dorsett has been decent at left-back, but he can’t be a long-term solution there considering he isn’t an asset in the final third. I was going to include him in my lineup in the middle - but Amadou Mbengue should be back from his suspension.
Nelson Abbey and Tyler Bindon line up alongside him, with Nesta Guinness-Walker and Andy Yiadom as the wing-backs. Guinness-Walker wasn’t brilliant against Arsenal U21s, but he can get forward well and be an attacking threat.
In midfield, Michael Craig and former Chairboy Lewis Wing start, with Ben Elliott and Caylan Vickers operating as the wide attacking midfielders.
If they can push up and support Sam Smith, that would be ideal. But we have also shown that we can go route one if required.
Score Prediction: Wycombe Wanderers 1-1 Reading
Other League One Fixtures
Bolton Wanderers vs Exeter City
Carlisle United vs Charlton Athletic
Cheltenham Town vs Oxford United
Derby County vs Bristol Rovers
Fleetwood Town vs Stevenage
Leyton Orient vs Wigan Athletic
Lincoln City vs Barnsley
Northampton Town vs Cambridge United
Peterborough United vs Burton Albion
Portsmouth vs Blackpool
Shrewsbury Town vs Port Vale