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Reading vs Peterborough United: Match Preview 2023/24

The new season is here - but there isn’t much optimism and understandably so.

Peterborough United v Sheffield Wednesday: Sky Bet League One Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Reading start their League One journey with a home tie against Peterborough United, who look set to be one of the stronger sides in the division this term.

This game isn’t an ideal one for the Royals who aren’t fully ready for the new campaign - but they do have the home advantage and can count on a home crowd that will be willing to get behind them.

However, Posh are the clear favourites to take all three points away from the Select Car Leasing Stadium and Darren Ferguson’s side will be disappointed to be leaving with anything other than a win considering the hosts still need to strengthen significantly.

Ahead of this clash, we have your match preview!

What? League One Matchday 1

Season? 2023/24

Who? Peterborough United

Where? Select Car Leasing Stadium

When? Saturday 5th August

Time? 3pm

Opposition Manager? Darren Ferguson

The Royals

Southampton FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

What a shambolic pre-season.

This summer was a real chance for us to rebuild and put our past problems behind us, but it has turned into a farce and there are a few key figures who are at fault for that.

Dai Yongge, Dai Xiu Li and Dayong Pang ought to be ashamed of themselves for not just what’s happened this summer - but also what’s happened in recent years. The former two need to sell up. A minority investor coming in may ease our short-term issues - but we need Mr and Ms Dai to be removed from positions of power at the SCL Stadium.

Thank you for your investment, but it hasn’t worked out. Sell up for the sake of all parties.

The Opponents

Sheffield Wednesday v Peterborough United: Sky Bet League One Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images

Losing to Sheffield Wednesday in the play-off semi-final must have been a crushing blow for Ferguson’s men who were 4-0 up after the first leg.

You could criticise Posh for their capitulation - but the Owls were superb in front of their home crowd in the second leg.

Today’s opponents may have already put that behind them and they need to if they want to be successful this term - because a potential hangover from that second leg could ruin their chances of being in the promotion mix at the end of this season.

Sell Before We Dai Update

It’s been a while since a full update has been given - but plenty has been done in the first month (with the help of the wider fanbase) and there’s still so much more we need to do.

Today’s “Sit In For Dai Out” protest has been backed by a decent number of supporters and we’re glad we have planned something that a lot of people could get behind. Going forward, we need to continue including the wider fanbase when planning protests and that’s how we can combine two of our biggest challenges.

What are our two biggest challenges then?

Number one, matchday protests may create conflict because different people want to do different things. If we can continue to agree on something like we have for today’s protest, that would be great. The support for it has been superb.

Number two, we need to involve more of the fanbase (including those not on social media) and communicate what we have done more effectively. I take full responsibility for my shortcomings on the latter.

We are already in the process of addressing this issue in a couple of different ways. Asking for ideas for protests was one way. Hopefully, SBWD updates on these match previews can also give supporters a clear idea of what we’re doing.

Here’s a list of some of the things that have been done so far:

My Lineup

Starting XI: Andresson, Guinness-Walker, Mbengue, Holmes, Yiadom, Savage, Hutchinson, Knibbs, Azeez, Carroll, Ehibhatiomhan

Jokull Andresson starts between the sticks ahead of Dean Bouzanis for me, although it would be good if we brought a new shot-stopper in if Andresson isn’t going to start.

At the back, Nesta Guinness-Walker, Amadou Mbengue, Tom Holmes and Andy Yiadom all start, although a new left-back would be ideal and Harlee Dean also has to be in the starting 11 when he’s ready to play.

Charlie Savage wins his first league start for the Royals and he appears alongside Sam Hutchinson, who will be desperate to stay fit for as many games as possible after missing a huge chunk of last season. He isn’t a reliable option - but he starts instead of Lewis Wing who may need time to get up to full fitness.

Harvey Knibbs and Femi Azeez play ahead of Savage and Hutchinson, but again, it would be good if we addressed this area again before the summer window closes.

With Sam Smith not certain to be available, Andy Carroll starts alongside Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan. This is another position that will need to be strengthened in the coming weeks.

Score Prediction: Reading 0-2 Peterborough United

Other League One Fixtures

Barnsley vs Port Vale

Blackpool vs Burton Albion

Bolton Wanderers vs Lincoln City

Cambridge United vs Oxford United

Carlisle United vs Fleetwood Town

Charlton Athletic vs Leyton Orient

Derby County vs Wigan Athletic

Northampton Town vs Stevenage

Portsmouth vs Bristol Rovers

Shrewsbury Town vs Cheltenham Town

Wycombe Wanderers vs Exeter City

All games kick off at 3pm