Queens Park Rangers v Reading

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Jamie Mackie scored QPR’s winning goal against former club Reading when the sides last met in January
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QPR manager Ian Holloway will be without Grant Hall (tendonitis) and Jordan Cousins (hamstring) for the visit of Reading to Loftus Road.

Defender Steven Caulker is unavailable but still part of Holloway’s plans.

Reading pair Joey van den Berg (ankle) and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson (achilles) will be fit after minor knocks.

Striker Yann Kermorgant (hip and groin) will be missing for the first two months of the season while Paul McShane serves the last match of a suspension.

SAM’s prediction
Home win – 37% Draw – 27% Away win – 36%

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

Reading manager Jaap Stam told BBC Radio Berkshire:

Royals boss Jaap Stam previews the new season ahead of the first game against QPR.

“There’s never enough time, you always want to have more time to prepare the team in pre-season. But, during the season you try to find time to better prepare the team and make it better.

“You’re always working in a certain way in pre-season to find that balance within the squad and make sure the squad learns from last season.

“They need to be learning from last season and we’ve tried to add certain details to make it better and they’ve learned a lot already.

“We don’t need to go back to the basics like we did last season, we’re already a couple of steps ahead.”

Match facts

  • QPR have lost four of their past six opening day matches, winning twice in the process, both at Loftus Road (v Leeds in 2016-17 and v Sheffield Wednesday in 2013-14).
  • Both teams have scored in six of Reading’s past seven matches on opening weekend.
  • Ian Holloway has never lost a season opener as QPR manager, winning three and drawing two.
  • Reading have won just one of their past 12 opening day matches on the road (D6 L5), a 2-0 win at Blackpool in 2001.
  • QPR have lost just one of their past 10 league encounters against Reading, winning four and drawing five.
  • Only Norwich (13.0%) boasted a better shot conversion rate last season than the Royals in the Championship (12.4%).

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