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Reading vs Stevenage: Match Preview 2023/24

The Royals will be hoping to secure another three points this afternoon.

Cardiff City v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Reading will be looking to get more points on the board this afternoon as they take on Stevenage, who have made a good start to the campaign.

The Royals have had another interesting week, with two signings coming in and a one-point deduction being applied. A victory against Cheltenham Town was the high point of the week - and they will now be desperate to follow that up with another win at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

That won’t be an easy task - but they have to make their home a fortress if they want to be successful this term. With further points deductions potentially on the horizon as well, they need to be getting wins on the board to keep their heads above water.

We have your match preview ahead of this game.

What? League One Matchday 4

Season? 2023/24

Who? Stevenage

Where? Select Car Leasing Stadium

When? Saturday 19th August

Time? 3pm

Opposition Manager? Steve Evans

The Royals

Following the additions of Ben Elliott and Paul Mukairu, we probably need three or four more additions. That’s without considering departures, but Dean Bouzanis can probably leave and not be replaced if our wage budget is very tight.

Using the loan market should help us to minimise costs as well and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see us utilise our relationship with Chelsea to bring in more players following the permanent signing of Elliott.

Bringing in two strikers is a must for me. Vickers may be an exciting player - but Andy Carroll shouldn’t be considered as a starting option and we need more firepower in the absence of Sam Smith. Having an experienced creator out wide who’s proven at this level would also be good - but they may not be able to be recruited on the cheap.

The Opponents

Stevenage have recruited reasonably well during the summer window, with most of their additions likely to be real assets this term and beyond. Nathan Thompson is a very good player to have at this level and should play a big part in guiding them to a respectable league finish this season - and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see their loanees shine either.

They have made an excellent start to the campaign, winning all four of their competitive games - but can they make it five this afternoon? They will be a tough nut to crack for the Royals.

My Lineup

Starting XI: Button, Carson, Abbey, Bindon, Mbengue, Savage, Wing, Knibbs, Camara, Ehibhatiomhan, Vickers

Fair play to David Button for his decent performance on Tuesday. I did go with Coniah Boyce-Clarke on Tuesday - but Button didn’t really do anything wrong in midweek so he starts.

The same back four also starts, with Matty Carson performing extremely well, Amadou Mbengue looking like an upgrade on Andy Yiadom and both Nelson Abbey and Tyler Bindon performed well. Abbey was exceptional and if he can continue performing well, he will surely become a regular starter in Berkshire.

Harvey Knibbs hasn’t exactly stood out during his time with the Royals so far, but he’s still in the early stages of his career at the SCL Stadium and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him come to life this afternoon.

Mamadi Camara has to keep his place after impressing in midweek - and so does Caylan Vickers who has been extremely impressive despite his inexperience. Having Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan as a physical presence up front will also be useful, but we definitely need a couple more forwards before the transfer window shuts.

Score Prediction: Reading 1-0 Stevenage

Other League One Fixtures

Bolton Wanderers vs Wigan Athletic (12:30pm KO)

Barnsley vs Oxford United

Blackpool vs Leyton Orient

Cambridge United vs Bristol Rovers

Carlisle United vs Exeter City

Charlton Athletic vs Port Vale

Derby County vs Fleetwood Town

Northampton Town vs Peterborough United

Portsmouth vs Cheltenham Town

Shrewsbury Town vs Lincoln City

Wycombe Wanderers vs Burton Albion

All games kick off at 3pm today unless stated.