MX23RW : Wednesday, February 20 14:33:50
Sep 22, 2015 at 8pm UK at ​Madejski Stadium
Blackman (36')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Barkley (62'), Deulofeu (73')

Preview: Reading vs. Everton

Sports Mole previews the Capital One Cup third round clash between Reading and Everton at the Madejski Stadium.

Reading will be looking to emulate their FA Cup form from last season when they take on Everton in the third round of the Capital One Cup.

Meanwhile, the Toffees will be hopeful that they can progress beyond the third round for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign.


Reading manager Steve Clarke during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Reading at The Amex Stadium on December 26, 2014© Getty Images

The Royals showed their pedigree in the cup competitions when they progressed to the last four of the FA Cup last season, despite their struggles in the Championship.

Reading were matched up against Arsenal at Wembley and battled the Gunners into extra time before an error from Adam Federici handed Arsene Wenger's side the win.

However, Steve Clarke's men will be able to take confidence into their League Cup campaign despite their poor performance in the competition last season when they were eliminated in the third round by Derby County.

The Royals have enjoyed a solid start to the campaign in the Championship this season by climbing into the top six in the early stages, managing to shake off their underwhelming 19th-place finish last term.

Clarke's side failed to win any of their first four matches in the second tier, but did beat Colchester United and Portsmouth in the League Cup, which sparked them into life. They went on to win three games on the spin, including a 5-1 win over Ipswich Town at the Madejski Stadium.

A 1-0 defeat to Derby County brought them back down to Earth, but Clarke's men found their form in the league with a 2-0 win over Bristol City on Saturday.

The form of Nick Blackman in front of goal has been key to their resurgence this season as the forward has notched five goals, while Orlando Sa has also been a threat.

The Royals have kept four clean sheets in their 10 matches in all competitions this season, but have managed just one in their last four games, which will be a concern to Clarke heading into the clash against the Toffees.

Recent form: DDWWLW
Recent form (all competitions): DWWWLW


Everton boss Roberto Martinez watches on as his side take on Southampton on August 15, 2015© Getty Images

Everton have historically struggled in the League Cup, having never won the competition in their history.

The club have reached the final of cup twice, but those appearances came in 1984 and 1977 and the closest they have come since is a semi-final berth in 2008.

The Toffees' recent record does not make for pleasant reading for their supporters as they have failed to progress beyond round four since they reached the semis seven years ago.

They've been knocked out in the third round for the past three seasons, which has included defeats to Leeds United, Fulham and Swansea City.

Roberto Martinez will be determined to end his side's poor run of form in the competition after they were forced to battle past Barnsley in the second round, needing extra time to see off the League One outfit at Oakwell.

Everton have been in solid form in the Premier League, losing just once this campaign so far, while they are unbeaten in their last three matches since going down to Manchester City.

The Toffees have shown resilience on their travels this season, with all three of their clean sheets in the top flight coming from their away matches, including their goalless draw with Swansea City at the weekend.

At the other end of the pitch, Martinez will have concerns over his side's inability to find the net as Steven Naismith's hat-trick against Chelsea have been their only goals since their five against the Tykes on August 26.

Recent form: DWLDWD
Recent form (all competitions): WLWDWD

Team News

Garath McCleary of Reading celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Reading at Ashton Gate on September 19, 2015 in Bristol, England.© Getty Images

Clarke has hinted that he could make changes to his side from their win over Bristol City on Saturday for the clash with the Toffees.

Paolo Hurtado, Alex Fernandez, Lucas Piazon and Simon Cox could all come into the team to face the Toffees, while Ola John and England Under-19 international Jake Cooper may also feature.

Martinez has revealed that he will hand Darron Gibson and Leon Osman their first starts of the season in the heart of his side's midfield.

Bryan Oviedo and Seamus Coleman are expected to miss out due to injury, but Mason Holgate could feature after recovering from a knock. Kevin Mirallas is out of the match as he begins the first game of his suspension.

Reading possible starting lineup:
Bond; Gunter, Cooper, Hector, Obita; Williams, Fernandez, Norwood; Piazon, Blackman, Hurtado

Everton possible starting lineup:
Robles; Browning, Funes Mori, Stones, Galloway; Gibson, Osman; Deulofeu, Barkley, Lennon; Kone

Head To Head

The two sides last met in the Premier League in the 2012-13 campaign and Everton recorded a 3-1 victory thanks to goals from Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar and Mirallas.

However, the Royals won the last match at the Madejski Stadium in a 2-1 win as Adam Le Fondre netted a brace to cancel out Naismith's opener.

There have only been 10 meetings between the teams over the course of history, and Everton have won six of the contests compared to Reading's three, while one match ended in a stalemate.

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We say: Reading 1-2 Everton

Reading have played well in the Championship this season and are in good form at the moment, but so are Everton, who are competing at a higher level. Expect a tight match at the Madejski Stadium, but the Toffees will have enough to edge the contest.

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Who will win Tuesday's League Cup clash between Reading and Everton?

Darron Gibson in action for Everton on November 9, 2014
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