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Reading vs Carlisle United: Match Preview 2023/24

The Royals need back-to-back wins in their battle against the drop.

Carlisle United v Leyton Orient - Sky Bet League One Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Following an away win at Wycombe, Reading will be hoping to secure another positive result tonight as they face Carlisle United.

Although they will be glad to return to the Select Car Leasing Stadium, some of their results in Berkshire haven’t exactly been positive this term, with their 2-1 defeat against fellow relegation candidates Fleetwood Town being one of the low points of the season.

Both the Royals and Carlisle will be desperate to secure three points tonight, with the latter needing to justify why their supporters have come all the way down from Cumbria to back their team.

Ahead of the game, we have a short preview for you.

What? League One Matchday 18

Season? 2023/24

Who? Carlisle United

Where? Select Car Leasing Stadium

When? Tuesday 28th November

Time? 8pm

Opposition Manager? Paul Simpson

The Royals

What a win on Saturday! But it doesn’t mean much if we can’t follow it up with another win tonight. This evening’s opponents can’t be taken for granted, but it’s getting to a point where draws aren’t enough. We could close the gap between us and 20th, but a points deduction could be on the way after our EFL charge earlier this month.

A victory tonight wouldn’t just close the gap further, but it would also raise morale and that will be important. Confidence could be the key to our success, so let’s hope we’re successful.

The Opponents

Carlisle will be hoping to enjoy a bright future under their new ownership - and it remains to be seen whether that gives them a bounce or not.

They aren’t in the worst position at this stage. They may be in the drop zone - but they were promoted at the end of last season and were expected to be in the relegation mix anyway - so they have nothing to lose.

That could work in their favour and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them climb out of the drop zone at some point. Exeter City are struggling at the moment - and the Cumbrians could potentially take advantage of that.

My Lineup

Starting XI: Button; Guinness-Walker, Dorsett, Abbey, Bindon, Yiadom, Craig, Wing, Vickers, Azeez, Smith

It wouldn’t be too mad if we stick with a similar lineup to the one we put out at Wycombe, but I’m loyal to the back three. The 3-4-2-1 allows players to play in their correct positions and that may help us thrive more in the long term.

In goal, David Button starts again, with Nesta Guinness-Walker and Andy Yiadom as our wing-backs.

Amadou Mbengue would probably walk into the starting lineup most weeks, but if Jeriel Dorsett is fit, he has to start. The back three of Dorsett, Abbey and Bindon could be solid, with the former able to cover Guinness-Walker on the left-hand side.

I’m a big Michael Craig fan so he starts again, with Lewis Wing also needing to be in the lineup if he’s fit. I’m keeping Caylan Vickers in my lineup despite the fact he hasn’t been in the squad much recently - and Femi Azeez deserves another chance to shine following a good performance at Adams Park.

Up top, it has to be Sam Smith again. He’s proving to be a game-changer - and I hope we can keep him fit.

Score Prediction: Reading 1-0 Carlisle United

Other League One Fixtures

Barnsley vs Wycombe Wanderers

Blackpool vs Northampton Town

Bristol Rovers vs Leyton Orient

Burton Albion vs Portsmouth

Cambridge United vs Lincoln City

Charlton Athletic vs Cheltenham Town

Exeter City vs Shrewsbury Town

Oxford United vs Bolton Wanderers

Port Vale vs Derby County

Stevenage vs Peterborough United

Wigan Athletic vs Fleetwood Town

All games get underway at 7:45pm