Reading vs Cardiff preview: Championship clash live on Sky Sports Football
Watch live on Sky Sports Football from 11.30am on Sunday; kick-off 12pm.
Last Updated: 18/08/19 11:11am
Reading face Cardiff in the Sky Bet Championship on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
Coverage gets under way live on Sky Sports Football from 11.30am, while kick-off is at 12pm.
There may be further movement in the Reading squad after a midweek Carabao Cup clash against League One side Wycombe ended with a penalty shoot-out victory. Royals boss Jose Gomes shuffled the pack after losing both Championship fixtures so far, handing Brazilian goalkeeper Rafael a debut and giving young midfielder Ovie Ejaria an outing.
Rafael is likely to retain his place after his penalty heroics but change could still be afoot as overlooked midfielder Andy Yiadom and new striker Lucas Joao look to regain their places. Left-back Tyler Blackett remains sidelined with injury, and Jordan Obita's inclusion looks doubtful despite having made an appearance at under-23 level after almost two years out with a knee injury.
Isaac Vassell is likely to feature again after his last-gasp winner against Luton last week, and could be joined by forward Robert Glatzel and midfielder Marlon Pack, both of whom posted sound debut performances against the Hatters.
Pack could replace 25-year-old midfielder Joe Ralls, who fell ill after the Bluebird's last fixture and was rushed to hospital. Warnock has confirmed that Ralls is training with the squad having made a recovery, but his involvement at the weekend is unlikely as he regains fitness.
It has been a tricky start to the season for Reading in the Sky Bet Championship. They are without a point in two games so far, having lost 3-1 at home to Sheffield Wednesday on opening day before being beaten 2-1 at Hull City.
Cardiff were beaten in an entertaining opener at Wigan. They led at the DW Stadium but were eventually beaten 3-2. They got off the mark last Saturday at home to Luton, as Isaac Vassell's last-gasp strike earned them a 2-1 win.
Reading boss Jose Gomes: "It was an important win [against Wycombe] to increase even more the togetherness of the squad. The players hugged each other and it's like building the team spirit because we cannot hide from the fact some of our players joined just five days ago so they are still getting to know each other. It was a special moment.
"We have 44 games in front of us in the league and we are just four points off achieving our targets."
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock: "It's always great [to get a win]. You could see that in training, the lads have been a lot freer and it's been more enjoyable. The disappointment of the way we conceded goals in the first game. Just the mistakes surprised me.
"We knew we needed reinforcements last week before the game. We were a lot more solid."
Talking point - Puscas to make a splash?
It is not often a player moves from Serie A to the Sky Bet Championship, let alone from the San Siro to the Madejski Stadium.
Puscas: From Inter Milan to Reading
Reading reporter Jonathan Low and a Romanian football expert Emanuel Rosu assess the potential impact of George Puscas in the Championship.
But that is the situation with Reading and George Puscas, a striker last seen starring for Romania at the European Under-21 Championship in the summer. He could make his first league start on Sunday, having scored his first goal in midweek at Wycombe.
Reading are unbeaten in five league matches against Cardiff (W2 D3 L0) since a 0-2 defeat in November 2015 under Steve Clarke.
Cardiff have won two of their last 12 away matches against Reading in all competitions (W2 D6 L4).
Reading haven't lost three consecutive Championship games since losing their opening three matches of last season under Paul Clement.
In the Football League, Neil Warnock has lost 16 matches against Reading - against no side has he lost more (also 16 vs Watford).
Reading's Lucas João has scored in his first two league matches of this season - one against Reading for Sheffield Wednesday and one for the Royals against Hull - with the striker never scoring in three consecutive Championship appearances.
Cardiff City have used more players than any other Championship side so far this season, using 21 players in total.
It could well be another season of struggle for Reading if their first two results are anything to go by. They have failed to carry the momentum from the back end of the last campaign into this one so far.
Cardiff got a late, late win against Luton last weekend to get off and running. They will always be tough for anyone to face, and I think they will be too good for Reading.
David Prutton predicts: 0-1 (13/2 with Sky Bet)