Match Preview: Reading FC v Derby County

“In our philosophy and how we want to play, we want to win every game- or at least get a result. A lot of times this season that has happened; against Brentford it didn’t and of course everybody is unhappy about that, but on Saturday against Derby we’ll go for the win again. Hopefully we can get that.”– Reading Manager Jaap Stam

“They won on Tuesday and will be more confident maybe, but it’s up to us and we’ve done well at home this season.”– Reading Player Yann Kermorgant

“We’re up against a side that have had a pretty good season so far. They had a big loss on Tuesday so I am sure that their manager will be looking for a response from them.”– Derby Caretaker Manager Chris Powell

“From what I have heard they are a good footballing team. We know it is a big test, especially away from home, but we will be looking to play on their defeat earlier in the week.”– Derby Player Will Hughes

Reading will be looking to try to get back to winning ways on Saturday as they face Derby County at the Madejski Stadium. The Royals are currently unbeaten at home in all competitions so far this season so the odds are in their favour.

Last time out, Reading manager Jaap Stam’s game plan did not quite work out as they were defeated heavily 4-1 away from home by Brentford. It was a game to forget for the Royals as their unbeaten run came to an end. Goals came from Joshua Clarke, Lasse Vibe, Maxime Colin and Scott Hogan for the home side while Yann Kermorgant pulled one back for Reading from the spot.

Despite currently finding themselves 20th in the Championship table, Derby fared better in their last game with a 2-0 away win against Cardiff City. Tom Ince scored their opener and a sending off of Matthew Connolly handed Derby a penalty which ex-Reading player Nick Blackman converted.

Off the pitch, things are not going quite so well for the Rams with manager Nigel Pearson being suspended earlier this week. Assistant manager Chris Powell took control of the team for their game against Cardiff, however, which is currently working in their favour.

While their recent form is questionable and their manager status up in the air, previous match-ups between the sides suggest that Derby are the favourites. Reading are winless in their last four league matches against Derby at the Madejski and the Rams have kept a clean sheet in each of their past three visits to the ground in league competition.

This season, however, Reading fans have been buoyed by their team’s performances. While Stam’s tactics have encouraged much debate, they had been largely effective up until the Brentford game. At home where their form is good and away teams often like to sit back, Reading should have ample opportunity to make a breakthrough.

Also working in Reading’s favour is the return of Garath McCleary following his three-match suspension for a red card. Danny Williams will also be optimistic of returning to the squad after missing the defeat at Brentford with an ankle injury.

Derby may have some players returning from injury themselves with Jason Shackell, Marcus Olsson and Craig Bryson all vying for a place in the squad. Of course the visit of Derby also means a return for some well-known faces around these parts with Alex Pearce, Matej Vydra, Nick Blackman and Chris Baird all likely to play a part in the squad.

While previous fixtures between the teams are in Derby’s favour, Reading will be optimistic of extending their winning run at home this season and bouncing back from their recent defeat. Like any team in the Championship, however, Derby will not be a pushover despite their recent issues and will be looking to cause another upset.

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