Reading v Fulham

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Reading beat Fulham in last season’s Championship play-off semi-final
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Reading hope to have striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson (ankle) available.

Captain Paul McShane has completed a three-game ban after his red card in their play-off semi-final last season.

Fulham are without goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli (hamstring), but midfielder Kevin McDonald is available having returned to training this week.

Tom Cairney, Tomas Kalas, David Button, Oliver Norwood and Stefan Johansen should start after being rested in Tuesday’s 2-0 EFL Cup win over Wycombe.

Reading manager Jaap Stam told BBC Radio Berkshire:

“I know my squad, I know my players, everyone knows what we did last season. We did very well, we ended up third in the league and went to the play-off final, but I think we still need to grow as a club.

“We still need to grow as a team. To say are we a contender for going up this season and winning the league, I don’t think we’re there yet. We need to be realistic as a club.

“Eventually we want to get to a certain stage like Fulham, you can keep your own squad, you can keep your best players.

“Every season you can add one or two players to make the team stronger, and then you can say we’re ready to get promotion.”

SAM’s prediction
Home win – 24% Draw – 25% Away win – 51%

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

Match facts

  • Reading are unbeaten in their past four home league encounters with Fulham (W2 D2), their longest unbeaten run against the Cottagers.
  • Fulham have only lost one of their past five Championship contests against the Royals (W3 D1), although that loss came in their most recent encounter at the Madejski Stadium.
  • Reading have not lost their opening two league games of a season since 1998-99 whilst in the third tier.
  • Fulham have failed to keep a clean sheet in nine of their past 10 meetings with Reading in all competitions.
  • Since the start of last season, no Championship side has scored more league goals (excluding play-offs) than Fulham (86).
  • Since August 2016, Reading have received six red cards in the Championship (including play-offs) – only Nottingham Forest (9), Sheffield Wednesday (7) and Norwich (7) have seen red more often.

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