Following their impressive start to the 2016/17 Championship season, Reading’s attention now turns to the EFL Cup (previously known as the Capital One Cup). Their opponents in the first round are League Two side Plymouth Argyle- Who Craig Tanner joined on loan last season.
The Pilgrims narrowly missed out on promotion to League One earlier this year as they lost to AFC Wimbledon in the play-offs. They too have also just begun their league campaign, but with a 3-0 home defeat against Luton Town.
On the back of a 1-0 home win against Preston North End, Reading will be the firm favourites for this cup tie. Jaap Stam will be expected to make several changes going into the game as he looks to give other members of the squad opportunities to get up to fitness. With two away games coming up against Wolves and Newcastle in the league, he will be hoping to get as many players firing on all cylinders as possible.
On paper, the Plymouth team expectedly looks weaker than the Royals. Striker David Goodwillie would be the immediate standout, having played for the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Crystal Palace and Blackpool in the past. After already losing to a Luton Town side, who finished eleventh in League 2 last season, Reading should breeze into the next round.
In terms of the Reading lineup, it will be interesting to see just how many changes Stam makes. An interview following the Preston game suggested it would not be too many but I am sure he will be interested to see if other squad members can make an impression. Jordan Obita limped off on Saturday with supposed cramp, so I would be surprised to see him in the team. New players Yakou Meite and Callum Harriott may make the starting eleven as they make a push for first-team action.