Reading launched their 2016/17 campaign with a 1-0 win over newly-relegated Newcastle United, a result which shocked many but which was a clear indication of the Cottagers’ intentions. Indeed whilst Slavisa Jokanovic’s side didn’t reach the top-six until relatively recently, they have enjoyed an excellent season and one which many pundits believe could end in promotion to the Premier League.
Their first play-off match is against Reading on Saturday evening and despite the Royals finishing the regular season in third position, it is Fulham who are looked upon as the side most likely to successfully negotiate the play-offs with Stan James going best odds of 15/8 that the West Londoners find themselves in the top-flight next season.
Jokanovic’s men finished the season on a high with just two points dropped in their last six Championship outings and they hammered Reading to the tune of 5-0 when the sides met at Craven Cottage in early December. The Royals ran out 1-0 winners in the following meeting at the Madejski Stadium, however we’re far from confident of the visitors’ chances this weekend against a Fulham side which are banging in the goals with reckless abandon of late.
The Cottagers put two past Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Sunday with Neeskens Kabano scoring both for the visitors and whilst the Royals are certain to put up a tough fight given that they have enjoyed some impressive results on the road this season, they are less than solid at the back and will likely collapse should the hosts score early in the game.