Reading v Fulham preview
Last Updated: 11/08/17 8:50pm
Reading will have defender Tiago Ilori available again following suspension for the visit of Fulham.
The Portuguese was sent off in the opening Championship defeat at QPR, so served out a one-match ban for the midweek Carabao Cup win over Gillingham.
Midfielder Liam Kelly staked a claim for another first-team chance with both goals against the Gills, while new winger Modou Barrow impressed after coming on at half-time.
Iceland forward Jon Dadi Bodvarsson has been carrying a knee problem and striker Yann Kermorgant continues to recover from hip and groin surgery. Midfielder Garath McCleary (groin), Joey van den Berg, Roy Beerens and Jordan Obita are also in rehabiliation.
Kevin McDonald returns to the Fulham squad for the short trip along the M4.
Midfielder McDonald has missed the first two matches of the season with a calf problem but is now fit and available.
Marcus Bettinelli is still out with a muscle problem so David Button continues in goal.
Ryan Fredericks, Tom Cairney and Sone Aluko will be among the players returning after they were rested in midweek.
Reading are unbeaten in their last four home league encounters with Fulham (W2 D2), their longest unbeaten run against the Cottagers.
Fulham have only lost one of their last five Championship contests against the Royals (W3 D1), although that loss came in their most recent encounter at the Madejski Stadium.
Reading haven't lost their opening two league games of a season since 1998-99 whilst in the third tier.
Fulham have failed to keep a clean sheet in nine of their last 10 meetings with Reading in all competitions.
Since the start of last season, no Championship side has scored more league goals (exc. play-offs) than Fulham (86).
Since August 2016, Reading have received six red cards in the Championship (inc. play-offs) - only Nottm Forest (9), Sheff Wed (7) and Norwich (7) have seen red more often.
Fulham looked the better of these two sides on opening day but maybe haven't got the physicality of Reading, which came to the fore when these two sides met in the play-off semi-finals last season.
Still, though, the midfield pair of Oliver Norwood and Tom Cairney would cause anyone problems and I think they'll be key in helping Fulham nick a win. Jaap Stam sticks to his principles and has a very set way of playing, and it'll be interesting to see how they get on throughout the season.
The flatness of the league means either of these sides could be pushing the top two or end up out of the play-offs entirely.
Prutton predicts: 1-2 (15/2 with Sky Bet)