When : Saturday 5th September 2020, 3pm, 8pm
Where : Madejski Stadium, Reading, RG2 0FL
Capacity : 24,161
A mere 45 days or so have elapsed since the 54th and final game of last season but the club finds itself setting out on a new journey with a lovely clean slate.
A week ago or two ago things looked reasonably steady with everyone seemingly knuckling down to the likelihood of a season of solid if uninspiring season of steady upper mid-table football but, what the heck, we all forgot this is Reading and Reading has a new way, i.e. wait to as near to the start of a season as possible then throw everything in the air and see what happens.
And so on this occasion the owners would appear to be wanting to try and push things much more towards and attempt at promotion yet do it in a manner which catches as many people off guard as possible, and so instead of replacing Mr Bowen with someone who has a track record of experience and or success in English football the club have appointed a Serbian gentleman who once coached the Serbian Under-20s to success in a World Cup competition.
Now that might be a masterstroke - success on the cheap - but while he may impress greatly in an interview Veljko Paunovic's cv doesn't help easily get supporters onside leaving a lot of about which means if the club gets yet another slow start to a season there's going to be nothing in the "goodwill tank" to give the benefit of doubt to the manager which in turn won't help the home atmosphere once the supporter is allowed back in to the ground which in turn won't help the team get results etc. Of course if a handful of exciting looking players are added to the clubs ranks in the next week or two things might be easier for him but it remains a big ask for a relative unknown to turn a talented but underachieving squad into promotion candidates.
Reading, it would seem currently, are likely to have 20 year old attacking midfielder Rodrigo Riquelme Reche on loan from Atletico Madrid available for the game Saturday together with other new signing Josh Laurent plus Ovie Ejaria able to make his debut as a permanent fixture at the club. Definitely out are Yakou Meite (suspended) plus Tom McIntye and George Puscas (international duty), I would be surprised if there were any other signings made in time to play in the game and my guess is the club will opt to play as strong a side as possible before the league kick off at Derby on 12th September.
Colchester will be without Luke Gambin who has been called up for Malta. The name most known to Reading fans though is Callum Harriott who made 22 appearance for the Us last season, scoring 3 goals.
27 year old Joshua Smith makes his debut in a Reading game after only one season on the league list as a referee. In his first season he took charge of 26 games and managed to book 81 and send off 6, which is around 3 bookings and 0.2 dismissals in each game.
There have actually been 6 games between the two clubs in the League Cup, Reading have won on 2 occasions but have only actually knocked Colchester out once due to the previous two legged nature of the competition's early rounds. Last time out in the competition against Colchester (2015) though Reading won 1-0. The two home games with Colchester in the competition have resulted in Reading winning 4-3 (1983) and Colchester winning 3-0 (1970).
League wise the two clubs are fairly evenly matched with 22 wins for Reading and 19 for Colchester over 26 seasons shared together. At home that's 16 Reading wins v 6 for Colchester.
How to follow the game
- Listen to Radio 5 Live and/or a myriad of other radio stations for score flashes
- Ring/text a mate for updates
- Use an iFollow subscription
- BBC Radio Berkshire (FM : 104.4, 104.1 or 95.4 depending where you are in the area)