MX23RW : Friday, June 18 07:06:20| >> :600:1007653:1007653:
Sep 11, 2015 at 8pm UK at Madejski Stadium
Reading
5-1
IpswichIpswich Town
Sa (7', 14', 63'), Blackman (49'), Norwood (87')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Sears (11')

Preview: Reading vs. Ipswich Town

Sports Mole looks ahead to Friday night at the Madejski Stadium as Championship football returns after the international break with Reading against Ipswich Town.

Championship football returns on Friday night after a week off for internationals, and the first game of matchday six sees Reading host high-flying Ipswich Town at the Madejski Stadium.

Before the break, Reading earned their first league win of the season, while Ipswich saw their unbeaten start to the campaign come to an end.


Reading

Danny Williams of Reading is congratulated after scoring the opening goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Reading at Hillsborough Stadium on August 19, 2015© Getty Images

It was an unfortunate start to the season for Reading when they cruelly lost at Birmingham City, but since then Steve Clarke's side are unbeaten and come into this match after back-to-back wins.

Victory over Portsmouth in the Capital One Cup second round was followed by a first league win of the campaign at Brentford after three straight draws had left them near the bottom of the table.

They are up to 13th, and supporters will have been pleased to see the Royals busy before the transfer window closed last week.

Although no new players were signed on permanent deals, three loan arrivals came in on deadline day - Lucas Piazon from Chelsea, Ola John from Benfica and, perhaps most impressively, Matej Vydra from Watford.

The Czech Republic international played a big part in the Hornets' promotion last season, scoring four goals in their last six games and 16 in total to help seal their return to the top flight.

One of the brightest young talents Reading have brought through in recent years, Michael Hector, was surprisingly signed by Chelsea, but he, like many others on the Blues' books, has been loaned out and back to the Royals for the rest of this season.

Clarke will hope that the new loanees can sort out Reading's goal troubles at home; they haven't won any of their last seven league games at the Madejski and not scored in the last six.

Recent Championship form: LDDDW
Recent form (all competitions): WDDDWW


Ipswich

Manager of Ipswich Town Mick McCarthy looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Ipswich Town at Griffin Park on August 8, 2015© Getty Images

Mick McCarthy's side were top of the table and on a five-match winning streak before fellow pacesetters Brighton & Hove Albion leapfrogged them with a resounding win at Portman Road before the international break.

The Blues only lost by one goal, but Brighton created far more chances and deservedly took the three points back to the South Coast, ending Ipswich's 10-game unbeaten home run since, incidentally, Reading won in Suffolk in February.

Goals haven't been a problem for McCarthy's men - no side have scored more - and Ipswich have netted exactly two goals in each of their last seven non-playoff league games.

Most of the Tractor Boys' business was done before the start of the season, but there is one new face who has yet to make his debut. Australia international Tommy Oar almost signed for Athletic Bilbao this summer, but the former Utrecht man was snapped up by Ipswich and adds to the depth out wide that they have this season.

Oar's arrival will excite, but he is unlikely to come straight in on the left wing as Bournemouth loanee Ryan Fraser was the Blues' star in August, losing out in the Championship Player of the Month award to Brighton's Kazenga LuaLua after scoring twice and setting up three goals last month.

Recent Championship form: DWWWL
Recent form (all competitions): WWWWWL


Team News

Christophe Berra for Ipswich Town on January 4, 2015© Getty Images

Ipswich have failed to win only twice this season and in both of those games they were without key defender Christophe Berra, who is fully fit after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Elsewhere for the visitors, midfielders Teddy Bishop and Kevin Bru are close to a return but not fit yet, while last season's Championship top scorer Daryl Murphy, still after his first goal this season, will be in the squad after missing the Tractor Boys' last two with a knock.

Clarke will have a tough job on his hands picking the team after the impressive 3-1 win at Brentford last time out.

Vydra is the most likely of the new signings to come in straight away, but he might have a hard time getting into the side. Nick Blackman should keep his place as he has already equalled his tally for last season with three goals in five games.

Reading possible starting lineup:
Bond; Gunter, Ferdinand, McShane, Obita; Blackman, Williams, Norwood, Quinn; Vydra, Sa

Ipswich possible starting lineup:
Bialkowski; Chambers, Smith, Berra, Knudsen; Maitland-Niles, Skuse, Douglas, Fraser; McGoldrick, Sears


Head To Head

Ipswich might be sitting 10 places higher in the table, but it is Reading who have the much better head-to-head record.

The Royals have won seven of their last eight games against the Tractor Boys, doing the double last season with a pair of 1-0 wins.

Ipswich have also won on only one of their last 10 visits to the Madejski Stadium and that was six-and-a-half years ago when a Jon Stead strike shortly after half time proved decisive.


Video Preview

Hit play below to see what the Sports Mole Sofa had to say about this encounter:



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We say: Reading 1-1 Ipswich

Ipswich tend not to be as good on the road and Reading will no doubt be buoyed after their first win of the season. However, the Royals will be nervous given that they haven't scored at the Madejski since early April and it might be a tight affair.



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Manager of Ipswich Town Mick McCarthy looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Ipswich Town at Griffin Park on August 8, 2015
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