Preview: Reading v Blues – 14/08/18

The first round of the Carabao Cup is upon us, and Blues face quite an uninspiring trip to the Madejski Stadium to face a Reading team that have lost their first two games in their Championship campaign.

Build Up

A cup game so early on in the season is always a nice change of pace and a chance for players to make a statement to the manager. Viv Solomon-Otabor, recent loan additions Connor Mahoney and Omar Bogle, and a few other youngsters may all be given the opportunity to prove themselves to Garry Monk. The start to the league campaign has been OK, however it’s the points picked up that matters and a point from the first two games leaves room for improvement.

News broke yesterday from John Percy at The Telegraph that some important behind-the-scenes names had left the club. These are chief financial officer Roger Lloyd, financial controller Gary Moore and club secretary Julia Shelton. Many have pointed out their disdain at this news, especially considering the latter is a respected name within Blues who hasn’t received nearly enough credit for her work done at the club, especially under the ownership of Carson Yeung.

Quite how much this will have hampered Garry Monk’s preparation for this game, if at all, remains to be seen…

The Stats

Blues are unbeaten in their last 4 meetings against Reading at The Madejski, scoring 5 goals and conceding none.

Despite the two sides meeting every year for the last 12 years, aside from 2010, this will be the first ever meeting between Blues and Reading in the League Cup.

Reading haven’t reached any further than the fourth round since 1998, where they reached the Quarter Finals. However, they have only lost in the first round three times since then.

Pre-match Quotes

Birmingham City manager Garry Monk on squad rotation for the upcoming game:

Like every game you want to win. We will approach it like that, as we do always.

Of course, we have to understand we have got a game Friday as well and we have to prioritise the league, which is the most important thing for us this season.We are under no illusions how difficult the league is going to be for us this season, there’s no getting away from that.

Reading manager Paul Clement on the importance of competitiveness in their squad:

We will freshen the side up a bit and give some of the players who haven’t played much an opportunity.

But it’ll certainly be a team that will be competitive and that can win the game.  In our squad, we don’t have a massive gulf in quality.  All of the players are competitive for their positions.

 

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Jordan Marley is a current journalism student at The University of Salford; a long-suffering Blues fan who also writes for the Huffington Post and Quays News.

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