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Port Vale vs Reading: Match Preview 2023/24

The Royals are set to face one of their former assistant managers.

Port Vale v Plymouth Argyle - Sky Bet League One Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Reading make a trip to Stoke-on-Trent as they face Port Vale, with both teams looking to recover from their opening day defeats.

The Valiants will have to put in a near-perfect performance if they are to fully redeem themselves following their 7-0 loss against Barnsley last weekend - a humiliating defeat that will have concerned manager Andy Crosby.

Thankfully for him, he still has plenty of games left to get his team back on track and he will be desperate to prove to the home support that their capitulation at Oakwell was a one-off.

They face the Royals, who will be desperate to prove why they should be taken seriously in League One.

What? League One Matchday 2

Season? 2023/24

Who? Port Vale

Where? Vale Park

When? Saturday 12th August

Time? 3pm

Opposition Manager? Andy Crosby

The Royals

Following the arrival of David Button, six more signings (a left-back, a defensive midfielder, two wingers/attacking mids and two strikers) may be required.

A winger and a striker are needed as quickly as possible and it’s a shame we don’t seem to have Olamide Shodipo on trial anymore. Armstrong Oko-Flex and Tarique Fosu are two other options we could potentially look at. Our free-agent options in the forward department are limited - but Billy Sharp or Macauley Bonne could be useful.

Bringing in a defensive midfielder would be good considering we can’t rely on Sam Hutchinson - and a left-back could be required depending on Matty Carson’s performances.

We may not be able to bring in some of our loanees until the latter stages of the window, with Premier League teams still trying to work out what they should do with some of their youngsters.

The Opponents

It’s a shame to see Darrell Clarke out of work because he did extremely well at Vale Park.

I remember seeing the Valiants’ play-off final against Mansfield Town last year and they performed extremely well. It shouldn’t be a surprise that they had success under Clarke considering he’s a serial promotion winner - but he did remarkably well considering what happened in his personal life.

Vale are now under the stewardship of Crosby, who was Nigel Adkins’ assistant at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

Sell Before We Dai Update

A big thank you has to go to those who turned up to the Peterborough United protest. There was plenty of debate about the method of protest and the effectiveness of it, but you’re always going to get that on social media!

We can’t look at the past too much though. We have to focus on what we’re doing now and in the future. In terms of what’s been happening in recent days, I have started to draw up an ‘administration contingency plan’, identifying what fans and the campaign can do before we potentially enter administration and what we need to do after it.

We aren’t guaranteed to enter administration and I have no inside knowledge of what’s happening at the club, but considering we have defaulted on payments before, it’s always good for us to have a plan in case the worst happens.

Having a multi-platform presence will be part of that plan because it’s important to engage with as many people as possible. Hopefully we can be more active on Instagram and it would also be a good idea for the campaign to be present on Hob Nob too. I have kept tabs on comments on HNA, some of which have been helpful.

My Lineup

Starting XI: Boyce-Clarke, Carson, Abbey, Dean, Yiadom, Savage, Wing, Guinness-Walker, Knibbs, Ehibhatiomhan, Vickers

Button may have signed, but Coniah Boyce-Clarke keeps his place in goal following a good performance at The Den in midweek. He needs to ensure he minimises unforced errors though.

There are two changes in defence from the Millwall game, with Harlee Dean and Andy Yiadom coming in for Tyler Bindon and Amadou Mbengue. Bindon can count himself unlucky to be out of the starting lineup if he isn’t in the first 11 today though.

And there’s one change in midfield, with Charlie Savage replacing Tivonge Rushesha, who did extremely well in the English capital on Tuesday.

Harvey Knibbs retains his starting spot - but Femi Azeez didn’t do enough last weekend to justify keeping his starting place in the league and Nesta Guinness-Walker steps into a more advanced role.

And up top, Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan and Caylan Vickers should be starting ahead of Andy Carroll. There’s been a lot of talk about Port Vale’s vulnerability from set plays - but Carroll didn’t perform very well last weekend and didn’t have the chance to make amends in midweek like Ehibhatiomhan did.

Score Prediction: Port Vale 0-2 Reading

Other League One Fixtures

Bristol Rovers vs Barnsley

Burton Albion vs Derby County

Cheltenham Town vs Bolton Wanderers

Exeter City vs Blackpool

Fleetwood Town vs Cambridge United

Leyton Orient vs Portsmouth

Lincoln City vs Wycombe Wanderers

Oxford United vs Carlisle United

Peterborough United vs Charlton Athletic

Stevenage vs Shrewsbury Town

Wigan Athletic vs Northampton Town

All games kick off at 3pm today