Reading can take a break from league action this weekend as they face League Two side MK Dons in the FA Cup.
Considering the shambolic off-field situation and our terrible league form, it will be nice for the Royals to play a game that doesn’t matter a great deal.
It would be great to have a cup run, but nothing is able to paper over what’s happening off the pitch, with administration potentially edging closer every day.
But for just shy of two hours, we can take our minds off it as we look to get through to the second round of the cup.
Here’s your mini preview.
What? FA Cup Round 1
Who? MK Dons
Where? Select Car Leasing Stadium
When? Saturday 4th November
Opposition Manager? Mike Williamson
With this latest EFL charge in mind, our season could be all but over if we get a hefty deduction. This term has been nothing short of a shambles so far and it’s hard to know exactly when we will hit rock bottom.
A takeover is desperately needed sooner rather than later - but whether Dai Yongge brings his valuation down to a sensible amount remains to be seen. As the architect of this mess, he should be helping the club but actively looking to offload it rather than trying to hold out for as much money as possible.
The fans are doing everything they can to fight for their club - and now it’s Dai’s turn to ensure the club has a brighter future by selling it quickly.
In terms of today’s game, it’s a potential opportunity for some fringe players to shine and it will be interesting to see who manages to shine against MK.
Mike Williamson is a decent appointment for the visitors and they could go far under him, with the former Newcastle man enjoying a good managerial spell at Gateshead previously.
Starting XI: Pereira, Carson, Dorsett, Holmes, Abrefa, Hutchinson, Elliott, Rushesha, Mukairu, Vickers, Ehibhatiomhan
Joel Pereira could win a start with Coniah Boyce-Clarke out - and Matty Carson, Jeriel Dorsett, Tom Holmes and Kelvin Abrefa start in front of him.
Clinton Mola could potentially start, but Dorsett should get a chance to shine and it will be interesting to see how Holmes performs if he appears.
With Sam Hutchinson also fit, he starts just in front of the defence, with Ben Elliott and Tivonge Rushesha allowed to push up. Rushesha has been very bright at times - and could earn himself a starting spot in the first team along with Michael Craig if he plays well enough.
Out wide, Paul Mukairu and Caylan Vickers get the chance to prove their worth, with the latter arguably deserving to play more. And Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan starts up top. He will need support from Makairu and Vickers though considering he’ll be up front on his own.
Score Prediction: Reading 2-0 MK Dons
FA Cup Fixtures (Involving League One Teams)
Northampton Town vs Barrow
AFC Wimbledon vs Cheltenham Town
Bolton Wanderers vs Solihull Moors
Bradford City vs Wycombe Wanderers
Bristol Rovers vs Whitby Town
Cambridge United vs Bracknell Town
Exeter City vs Wigan Athletic
Leyton Orient vs Carlisle United
Lincoln City vs Morecambe
Oxford United vs Maidenhead United
Peterborough United vs Salford City
Port Vale vs Burton Albion
Shrewsbury Town vs Colchester United
Stevenage vs Tranmere Rovers
Bromley vs Blackpool
Chesterfield vs Portsmouth
Kidderminster Harriers vs Fleetwood Town
Crewe Alexandra vs Derby County
Charlton Athletic vs Cray Valley Paper Mills