MX23RW : Wednesday, February 20 14:31:39
Aug 22, 2015 at 3pm UK at ​Madejski Stadium
MK Dons

Preview: Reading vs. MK Dons

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Reading and MK Dons.

MK Dons travel to Reading on Saturday, looking to maintain their impressive start to life in the Championship.

The newly-promoted side currently sit in the playoff positions, while Reading are languishing near the bottom after a slow start to the 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

Reading have drawn two and lost one of their three games so far and it looks like it could be another season of struggle for the Royals.

Steve Clarke took charge last season and guided them to Championship safety, but it has been far from plain sailing for the former West Bromwich Albion boss at the Madejski Stadium.

Reading were fairly unimpressive going forward last season and have started this campaign in a similar way. They have scored just two goals so far, although they have been fairly tight at the back.

Their only home game resulted in a drab 0-0 draw against Leeds United, in which they were far from convincing.

Clarke's men put in an improved display at Sheffield Wednesday in midweek. They look the lead in the 49th minute and led until injury time, when the hosts snatched a point thanks to Modou Sougou's late strike.

Recent form: LDD

MK Dons

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson looks on during the Pre-Season Friendly match between MK Dons and Tottenham Hotspur XI at Stadium mk on July 31, 2013© Getty Images

MK Dons have been one of the surprise packages of the season so far, showing that they have not been daunted by the step up from League One.

After a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Preston North End, who also came up from League One last season, Karl Robinson's Dons responded with a victory over Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday.

The Dons struggled to perform to their best against the Trotters, but a second-half goal from Daniel Powell gave them a 1-0 win at stadium:mk.

Six points from their opening three games leaves Robinson's men fourth in the table, just a point behind early leaders Ipswich Town and Hull City.

They have strengthened their side further this week with the signing of Diego Poyet, who has joined on a season-long loan deal from West Ham United.

Recent form: WLW

Team News

Diego Poyet in action for West Ham on July 16, 2014© Getty Images

Reading have no fresh injury concerns and could go with the same side that drew at Sheffield Wednesday, despite Jonathan Bond's error costing them the win. Clarke has publicly backed his goalkeeper this week and he is likely to remain in the side.

Simon Cox could be brought into the side for Orlando Sa, while new signing Alex Fernandez will be hoping to make his Royals debut.

MK Dons winger Rob Hall was ineligible to feature against parent club Bolton, but he could be brought back in for the trip to the Madejski. Poyet could make his debut in midfield following his loan switch.

Mark Randall is expected to miss out also as he continues his recovery from an injury that he suffered in pre-season.

Reading possible starting lineup:
Bond; Gunter, Ferdinand, McShane, Obita; Norwood, Quinn, Williams, Tshibola, Robson-Kanu; Sa

MK Dons possible starting lineup:
Martin; Spence, McFadzean, Kay, Lewington; Potter, Benavente, Baker, Reeves; Bowditch, Gallagher

Head To Head

The Dons are set to take on many sides for the first time this season, and Reading are one of them. The teams have never met previously.

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We say: Reading 0-1 MK Dons

Reading have struggled so far this season, and it is a lack of goals that is costing them. They are displaying a lack of cutting edge in the final third which could hurt them throughout the campaign. The Dons, on the other hand, have continued their momentum gained from winning promotion and look a good bet for another three points here.

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Who will win Saturday's Championship clash between Reading and MK Dons?

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A general view of Hillsborough on January 05, 2013
Read Next:
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