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Eastleigh vs Reading: FA Cup Match Preview 2023/24

Is an upset on the cards in Hampshire?

Hartlepool United v Eastleigh - Vanarama National League Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Reading are in FA Cup action again this afternoon as they travel to Eastleigh.

A 3-2 victory over MK Dons in the first round was enough to see them through - and they will now be wanting to avoid an upset in front of the ITV cameras.

The hosts are only two divisions below the Royals though, so a home win could potentially be on the horizon.

Ahead of the game, we have a short match preview.

What? FA Cup Second Round

Season? 2023/24

Who? Eastleigh

Where? Silverlake Stadium

When? Sunday 3rd December

Time? 1:30pm

Opposition Manager? Richard Hill

Pre-Match Thoughts

Apart from today’s game, I wish Eastleigh the best of luck. They fully deserve their place in this round and although it will be seen as a ‘big day’ for them, they shouldn’t be underestimated considering they are only two leagues below us now.

In terms of the visitors, Dai Yongge has shown his contempt for rules once again. Work needs to continue to get him out the door - and that can be done in various forms.

Matchday protests are one method - but there are other ways we can put the pressure on and it’s definitely time to pull some different levers after today’s game. Taking the protest closer to Buckingham Gate has to be on the table - and the political work should also continue. The political side of the campaign has been effective.

My Lineup

Starting XI: Button, Dorsett, Mbengue, Holmes, Yiadom, Craig, Wing, Mukairu, Elliott, Vickers, Smith

I’ve gone reasonably strong for this game.

David Button starts between the sticks again, with Jeriel Dorsett and Andy Yiadom retaining their places at full-back. Nelson Abbey and Tyler Bindon get a rest though, with Amadou Mbengue and Tom Holmes getting the opportunity to prove their worth.

Michael Craig and Lewis Wing keep their spots as consistent figures in the middle of the park, although it would be good to take the latter off at some point if appropriate.

Ben Elliott has a rare opportunity to start in an advanced midfield role, with Paul Mukairu and Caylan Vickers on the wing, giving Femi Azeez a rest.

Makairu was a valuable player defensively against Carlisle and should be looking to help Dorsett out again. Vickers will also have defensive responsibilities but should be utilised as a real attacking threat.

Up top, Sam Smith starts, but he’s another player who should be taken off at some point. Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan could get a chance to shine too and can be a threat.

Going with a strong lineup feels right in front of the TV cameras though! I’m not sure if we’ll get the win though.

Score Prediction: Eastleigh 1-1 Reading

Other FA Cup Fixtures Today

Aldershot Town vs Stockport County (2pm KO)

Chesterfield vs Leyton Orient (2pm KO)

Wrexham vs Yeovil Town (3:45pm KO)