As the Premier League has finally arrived, the Sky Bet Championship is now upon its 3rd week of action, already living up to its usual excitement and thrills. With high flyers Watford failing to secure promotion after the play-off defeat at Wembley, they are now stronger than ever and determined push for promotion in the new season. However the Madejski Stadium is not an easy place to go, with Nigel Adkins men now displaying an exciting and appealing style of passing football under the new philosophy. Adkins, although failing to keep the Royals up has impressed Reading fans from take off, despite having a fairly unsuccessful pre-season.
With the three new high-profile signings of Wayne Bridge, Danny Williams and Royston Drenthe, its added a sense of excitement, especially with the ex Real Madrid man Royton Drenthe who has already won the fans support, with Drenthe shirts pouring into the stadium for kick off. Possibly the only thought on fans minds at the moment are when we will see a new striker. Whilst a list of strikers have been linked to the Royals including Cameron Jerome, Mike Havenaar, Iboue, Billy Sharpe and Mike Van Duinen, there has been no movement in the market for several weeks. However Adkins has expressed that until ‘unhappy’ Pogrebnyak leaves, he cannot bring in another, most likely due to his wages. Although a striker is a priority, in my opinion a new defender would also be of use, possibly a versatile player who can play left/right or centre.
The Watford game will certainly be interesting with both teams in for a chance of promotion and with strong squads. For me the line-up would be: GK; McCarthy LB; Bridge CB; Mariappa CB; Morrison RB; Kelly LM; Drenthe CDM; Williams CAM; Guthrie RM; McCleary ST; Blackman ST; Le Fondre. Formation 4-1-2-1-2
It absolutely dazzles me how Le Fondre was left on the bench for Bolton; however I can understand Adkins approach of rotating the squad. I feel that Williams impact against Ipswich was admirable and really picked up the pace of our game. Upfront I feel Blackman and Le Fondre could be a nice pair as ALF just isn’t a lone striker which has been proven several times. In defence, Pearce has to be dropped to the bench for me, despite his physical presence and aerial threat, I feel if we want to play the passing game, Mariappa has the right agility and playing style we are really craving and has always been my number one choice in defence.
Predictions: I am going for a 2-1 victory for the Royals despite Watford’s run of form.