Reading vs Fulham Preview: Cottagers looking for revenge against Royals after play-off defeat

Reading host Fulham on Saturday afternoon in the EFL Championship, in what is a rematch from last season's playoff semi-finals.

Reading vs Fulham Preview: Cottagers looking for revenge against Royals after play-off defeat
The two clash in the play-off's (photo: Getty Images / Simon West)

Fulham travel to Reading in an early season clash, with their play-off heartache at the Madejski stadium still very clear in the mind. 

Play-off hangover?

Even with the 2017/18 season underway, both these teams must still be thinking what might have been and come from the end of the 2016/17 season. Both teams could not gain promotion, as third placed Reading beat sixth placed Fulham 2-1 over two legs in the playoff semi-finals, only to lose the showpiece final at Wembley to Huddersfield Town on penalties. 

Slavisa Jokanovic's team may well have felt they could have put up a better display against Huddersfield in the final than what Fulham did, but they weren't given that chance because Jaap Stam's side didin't let them get there and this will no doubt motivate Fulham for this game.

The season so far

It's a short story to tell for both team's so far this campaign. Both teams come into the match looking for their first league win, with the hosts Reading looking for their first points after they were beaten 2-0 at Queens Park Rangers on the opening day. 

Meanwhile, Fulham faired a little better in drawing 1-1 at home to Norwich City, but they were left to rue missed chances in that game and conceded a late equaliser to make their point feel like a defeat. Both sides do come into this match with a bit of confidence however, as they both beat lower league opponents Gillingham and Wycombe Wanderers respectivelly, both wins being 2-0. 

Team news

There are no new injury concerns for Reading, but Paul McShane, Yann Kermogrant and Jordan Obita remain long term absentees. 

Fulham's first choice goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli remains out with a hamstring injury so David Button continues to fill in. 

Midfielder Kevin MacDonald looks to have recovered from a calf problem in order to battle with former Reading man Oliver Norwood for a place in the middle of Fulham's midfield. 

Stats

Reading only lost two of their 23 home games in the league last season or 24 if you count their playoff win over Fulham.

Reading are unbeaten in their last five home games against the Cottagers.

Fulham have 20 wins in the history of the fixture compared to 18 for Reading, but the former has only won one of the past five meetings. 

Championship