Derby County face Reading as the 2020-21 English season officially begins this weekend. While the eyes of most fans will be on the Premier League, the EFL Championship also kicks off with some fascinating fixtures.
In one such match, Derby County play host to Reading at Pride Park. Despite finishing 10th and 14th respectively in 2019-20, both of these sides will be looking to push towards the top six in the new campaign, and a good start is paramount for both.
Derby County vs Reading Head-to-Head
Results between the Rams and the Royals have been relatively even over the years. Beginning back in 1965, the two sides have played each other on a total of 48 occasions.
Derby have the slight historical edge with 24 wins to Reading’s 15, and notably defeated former boss Mark Bowen’s side 2-1 at Pride Park in June.
Both sides began their 2020-21 campaign with a win in the EFL Cup. Derby’s match with League 2 side Barrow ended 0-0 before the Rams came out on top in a penalty shoot-out, while Reading overcame Colchester United 3-1.
The end of the 2019-20 season saw the Royals on a horrible slide, losing their final three league games, while Derby were on a run of four losses in a row before managing to overcome Birmingham on the final day of the campaign.
Derby County form guide: L-L-L-W-W
Reading form guide: W-L-L-L-W
Derby County vs Reading Team News
Derby boss Phillip Cocu has a number of injury concerns. Skipper Wayne Rooney is expected to return following a muscle injury, but Martyn Waghorn is a doubt thanks to a calf injury. Tom Lawrence and Krystian Bielik, meanwhile, remain on the sidelines.
Injured: Krystian Bielik, Tom Lawrence
Doubtful: Martyn Waghorn
New Reading manager Veljko Paunovic will not be able to call upon last season’s top scorer Yakou Meite, who was sent off during Reading’s final game of 2019-20. He’ll now be suspended for the opening three games of the season.
Suspended: Yakou Meite
Derby County vs Reading Predicted XI
Derby County predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Kelle Roos, Mike te Wierik, Curtis Davies, Matthew Clarke, Lee Buchanan, Max Bird, Wayne Rooney, Louie Sibley, Graeme Shinnie, Jason Knight, Jack Marriott
Reading predicted XI (4-3-3): Rafael Cabral, Andy Yiadom, Liam Moore, Michael Morrison, Omar Richards, Michael Olise, Felipe Araruna, Ovie Ejaria, Lucas Joao, Marc McNulty, George Puscas
Derby County vs Reading Prediction
This could be a tight match to call given that Reading have made some excellent signings and appear to be ready for a push towards the top of the table. However, it may take them some time to gel together and the Royals struggled on the road last season.
Derby meanwhile have a more settled team to choose from, even without Waghorn and Lawrence, and the return of experienced skipper Rooney should be enough to give them a slight edge in this season opener.
Prediction: Derby County 2-1 ReadingPublished 10 Sep 2020, 14:07 IST