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Match Previews

PREVIEW: City host Reading this weekend

City searching for second successive home league win...

20 August 2021

The Sky Blues host Reading on Saturday afternoon at the Coventry Building Society Arena (3pm KO). Here’s everything you need to know about our opponents.

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Fact File:

Name: Reading Football Club
Founded: 1871
Stadium: Select Car Leasing Stadium (first opened 1998)
Capacity: 24,161
Nickname: The Royals
Address: Select Car Leasing Stadium, Junction 11, M4, Reading, Berkshire, RG2 0FL
Pitch Size: 115 x 74 yards

 

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The Opposition

Reading will be hoping to go one better this time around after a seventh-place finish last season. The Berkshire side spent most of the campaign sitting in the top six, in no small part due to Lucas Joao’s 19 league goals, but they missed out on the play-offs after a run of one win from their final 11 matches of the season.

This summer has seen the high-profile departures of Omar Richards to Bayern Munich and Michael Olise to Crystal Palace for a record fee, with the only arrival being midfielder Tom Dele-Bashiru on loan from Watford so far.

Reading currently sit in 17th place in the Sky Bet Championship table with one win and two defeats from their opening three league matches of the season.

Despite only winning once the Royals haven’t been goal shy, having scored two goals in each of their league games with defender Liam Moore, midfielder John Swift and forward Femi Azeez all level in the chart with two goals to their name so far.

 

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Manager

Veljko Paunovic was confirmed as Reading manager in August 2020, following an almost four-year spell in charge of Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire.

The Serb enjoyed a distinguished playing career as both an attacking midfielder and a forward, beginning with Partizan Belgrade before two spells at Atletico Madrid as well as representing his native Serbia and Montenegro at international level, scoring against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in 2004.

He began his coaching career with Serbia’s youth sides, managing the under-18’s, under-19’s and under-20’s, winning the under-20 World Cup with the latter in 2015, beating Brazil 2-1 after extra time in the final at the North Harbour Stadium in Auckland.

His first club role was with Chicago Fire in November 2015, qualifying for the end of season playoffs in 2017 before departing in November 2019.

Paunovic enjoyed a fine first season in English football with his side only out of the top six for one matchday out of the opening 40, but a loss of form at the end of the season saw the Royals end seventh on 70 points.

With Reading, Paunovic has managed 53 matches recording 21 wins, 13 draws and 19 defeats.

 

Last Six Games

Lost – Reading 2-3 Bristol City (Sky Bet Championship)
Won – Reading 2-1 Preston North End (Sky Bet Championship)
Lost – Reading 0-3 Swansea City (Carabao Cup First Round)
Lost – Stoke City 3-2 Reading (Sky Bet Championship)
Drew – Reading 2-2 Huddersfield Town (Sky Bet Championship)
Lost – Norwich City 4-1 Reading (Sky Bet Championship)

 

Last Time We Met

The two sides last met in January 2021 when the Sky Blues went down 3-0 to the Royals in a midweek Sky Bet Championship fixture in Berkshire.

Goals from Lucas Joao, Andy Rinomhota and John Swift gave the Royals the win, in a game the Sky Blues can count themselves unfortunate after a positive performance.

Sky Blues Xl: Ben Wilson (GK), Sam McCallum, Kyle McFadzean, Dom Hyam, Leo Ostigard, Fankaty Dabo, Matty James, Gustavo Hamer, Jordan Shipley, Callum O'Hare, Viktor Gyokeres.

Subs: Lee Camp (GK), Julien Dacosta, Jordon Thompson, Jamie Allen, Ben Sheaf, Gervane Kastaneer, Will Bapaga, Max Biamou, Amadou Bakayoko.

 

Head-to-Head Record

Sky Blues Wins – 19
Draws – 17
Reading Wins – 28

 

Club Connections

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Jay Tabb

Tooting born midfielder Jay Tabb made 104 appearances for the Sky Blues over a two-and-a-half-year period before joining Reading in January 2009, going on to spend four-and-a-half-years with the Berkshire club.

Tabb came through the academy at Brentford, making 156 appearances, scoring 24 goals, before linking up with the Sky Blues in 2006.

During his time at City, Tabb would spend three seasons with the club, racking up over 100 appearances in all competitions, scoring 12 goals.

Some of his more memorable outings came against the likes of Barnsley where the midfielder created three assists in one game, Southampton when he scored a brace and an opening goal in a League Cup tie against West Ham United.

However, Tabb would eventually depart the Sky Blues during the Janaury Transfer Window of 2009, joining the Royals for an undisclosed fee.

The midfielder made just one more apperance for Reading then he did the Sky Blues, notiching 105 gams for the Royals across four seasons, as he helped Brian McDermott's side win promotion to the Premier League in 2012, enjoying his first taste of top flight football.

Tabb would feature 12 times in the Premier League before joining Ipswich Town on loan in March 2013, featuring 85 times for the Tractor Boys before retiring in 2016.

 

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Match Officials

David Webb will be the man in the middle on Saturday afternoon, taking charge of his fourth game of the 2021/22 season.

He last refereed the Sky Blues last season when City went down 4-1 to AFC Bournemouth in April on the South Coast.

This will be Webb’s 14th season as a Football League referee and he has officiated the Sky Blues on 15 occasions, with City winning seven, drawing three and losing five of those matches.

So far, Webb has awarded 16 yellow cards and 0 red cards across his three matches in the Sky Bet Championship and Sky Bet League One.

He will be assisted by Daniel Leach and Andrew Dallison with Anthony Backhouse acting as fourth official.


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