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Exeter City vs Reading: EFL Trophy Match Preview 2023/24

The Royals will be hoping to start their EFL Trophy journey on a high note.

Derby County v Exeter City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Following an excellent league win against Bolton Wanderers, Reading can have a break from league action for now as they take on Exeter City in the EFL Trophy.

Already facing the Grecians earlier this season, and losing 2-1, the Royals will want revenge but a very different side could be put out by Ruben Selles this evening.

The result probably doesn’t matter too much considering the visitors will probably be fully focused on the league this term - but they will want a win regardless.

We have your match preview below.

What? EFL Trophy group stage matchday 1

Season? 2023/24

Who? Exeter City

Where? St James’ Park

When? Tuesday 19th September

Time? 7pm

Opposition Manager? Gary Caldwell

Pre-Match Thoughts

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a few changes this evening and that would be a real positive, not just to give our starting 11 a rest but also to give others an opportunity to impress.

The likes of Tom McIntyre, Ben Elliott and Paul Mukairu will all want a starting spot - but they will need to prove their worth and Elliott already has.

Tonight could be the night he makes his case to Selles - and that’s why I’ll be keeping an eye on him. He certainly looks like a talent - but he needs to continue proving why he should be one of the first names on the teamsheet.

Sell Before We Dai Update

It’s probably easier to put out a list of everything that has been done so far. Hopefully we can also outline what the next steps are at some point as well.

What has the campaign done so far?

  • Website created including a Q&A to answer FAQs
  • Merchandise available
  • Letter to potential investors detailing what many fans want from them written
  • Letter to potential investors detailing why they should be involved written
  • Manifesto for change written
  • Support gained from the local council
  • Support gained from key political figures including local MPs and former Prime Minister Theresa May
  • Flyers distributed in Caversham, Reading, Bracknell and at the Sutton United (A) pre-season friendly
  • The first Twitter space has been done! More could be planned in the future
  • Participated in media interviews with the BBC, ITV and other outlets
  • Spoken to supporters of other clubs that have been in turmoil in the past 15 years to find out what the campaign should be doing and how we should protest
  • AoCV applications submitted to try and protect the stadium and other key assets
  • Potential investors have been spoken to
  • Banners created including the 106 and roulette wheel ones and taken to games
  • Reading Lights display happening on multiple occasions
  • Fanzine article for The Other Face of Football written and published
  • Peterborough United (H) ‘sit in’ planned and executed, with flyers being handed out before the game
  • Administration contingency plan created and activated following three-point deduction in September 2023
  • Published letter from Reading Borough Council on Stadium land use restrictions
  • Letter to the EFL has been written and sent to MPs Matt Rodda and James Sunderland
  • A meeting with James Sunderland was conducted, with the MP agreeing to take action on numerous fronts
  • Bolton Wanderers (H) tennis ball protest planned and successfully executed, with pre-match letter written to players and staff and post-match message spread to reaffirm our commitment to pressuring Dai Yongge to sell

My Lineup

Starting XI: Boyce-Clarke, Carson, McIntyre, Dean, Mbengue, Craig, Elliott, Mukairu, Azeez, Clarke, Wareham

Coniah Boyce-Clarke starts ahead of Joel Pereira at this stage, with the former doing well in the Carabao Cup.

The back four is also completely changed, with Matty Carson potentially hoping to reclaim his starting spot in the first team as well as Amadou Mbengue. Senior duo Tom McIntyre and Harlee Dean should be able to use their experience to shut out Exeter’s attackers.

In midfield, Michael Craig gets another opportunity to shine alongside Ben Elliott, who will be hoping to impress the Royals’ coaching staff tonight.

Paul Mukairu and Caylan Vickers also start, but I’m going to put the latter on the wing and see how he copes. He has played out wide before, so he could thrive.

And up top, I’ll give Jahmari Clarke and Jayden Wareham a go with Sam Smith still out.

EFL Trophy rules mean this team may or may not be eligible, but something like this lineup would be good please Selles!

Score Prediction: Exeter City 0-2 Reading

Other EFL Trophy Fixtures

The following games take place this evening:

Morecambe vs Liverpool U21

Sutton United vs Aston Villa U21

Wycombe Wanderers vs Crystal Palace U21

Colchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur U21

Leyton Orient vs Fulham U21

Oxford United vs Milton Keynes Dons

Bristol Rovers vs West Ham United U21

Wigan Athletic vs Leicester City U21

Derby County vs Lincoln City

Doncaster Rovers vs Everton U21

Shrewsbury Town vs Brighton and Hove Albion U21