Jaap Stam and his Reading side will look to give their new Championship season the perfect start with a result against QPR at Loftus Road this afternoon.
Its been a difficult few months for Reading following their penalty shoot out defeat to Huddersfield in the playoff final, but today is a fresh new season and should prove to be an intriguing tie between two sides with plenty of ambition.
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In the early kickoff QPR take on Fulham, as Ian Holloway’s side look to pull clear of the Championship relegation zone. After a dismal run of form which saw Rangers dragged into a dogfight, three wins on the bounce have boosted confidence and the side are now in 17th place.
A win would further QPR’s ambitions, but Fulham themselves have playoff ambitions so we could be set for an entertaining affair at Loftus Road (KO 12:30).
QPR vs Reading Team News
7th takes on 4th as Derby entertain Reading at the ipro Stadium, with both sides ideally set in the division.
The Rams run of form has faltered in recent weeks, following two defeats on the trot to Norwich and Leeds last week, so a home win is vital to steady the ship. Jaap Stam’s Royals come into the game on the back of a loss, last week away to QPR, and with Reading eying a push for automatic promotion there’s everything to play for.
Saturday evening sees not only the Yorkshire derby, but a Championship match taking place between two sides that are both arguably over achieving this season: Barnsley vs Leeds United.
Leeds are going into the match as clear favourites, as Gary Monk’s side currently sit 3rd in the league table – something that has not been managed by the side for quite some time.
The Northerners have not finished above 13th in the Championship since the 2010/2011 season, but the side who have spent the last few years marooned in mid table now find themselves in an unusual spot where they are contesting for not only playoffs but also a promotion spot, just 6 points behind Brighton in 2nd place.
However, Leeds are not the only ones, as Barnsley are also arguably over achieving in the eyes of many. They were one side that were tipped to be battling for relegation, or at least be sitting comfortably in the bottom half of the table.
But having said this, Leeds neighbours find themselves in a very respectable 10th place, and will be ready to give their best shot at winning the derby.
Having said this, and despite the fact that Barnsley will be playing on home turf, Leeds are expected to come away from the tie with the 3 points, having won 6 of their last 7 matches, whilst Barnsley have lost both of their last 2, including a shock defeat to Blackpool in the FA Cup.
Furthermore, in the reverse tie, Leeds took the points on their home turf in a 2-1 victory and have really managed to kick on since then.
But with it being a derby, anything can happen.
It rounds off an entertaining day in the Championship.
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