Match Preview | Reading vs. Cardiff City
Cardiff City play their second fixture in the 2022/23 EFL Championship campaign at Reading’s Select Car Leasing Stadium, with kick-off at 3pm.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | IN THE DUGOUT
The Royals began their 2022/23 campaign with a narrow 1-0 defeat to Blackpool on opening day, with Callum Connolly scoring the only goal of the game.
This season will be the first full campaign since the permanent appointment of Paul Ince as First Team manager back in May.
Ince had an interim spell in charge of the Royals at the end of the 2021/22 season, in which he guided them to Championship safety.
The Reading boss had an illustrious playing career, representing the likes of Manchester United, Inter Milan and Liverpool, as well as earning 53 caps for England.
In management, Ince's role with the Royals is his first since January 2014, having previously managed Blackpool, Macclesfield Town, MK Dons, Blackburn Rovers and Notts County.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | SUMMER SIGNINGS
It has been a busy summer for the Royals in the transfer market, with no fewer than nine players joining their first team.
Ince has bolstered his options in the goalkeeping department, with the signings of Dean Bouzanis from Sutton United and Joe Lumley, the latter joining on a season-long loan from Middlesbrough.
Two defenders have also joined the Royals, in the form of Nesta Guinness-Walker, formerly of AFC Wimbledon, and Sam Hutchinson, who spent last season at Sheffield Wednesday.
In midfield, Ince has utilised the loan market to bring in Tyrese Fornah from Nottingham Forest, Jeff Hendrick of Newcastle United and Mamadou Loum from Porto.
In search of a regular goalscorer, Reading have added ex-Southampton striker Shane Long, who returns to the club having made 123 appearances for the Royals between 2005 and 2011.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | KEY PLAYERS
Goals will undoubtedly be key for Reading’s progress in the 2022/23 campaign, with playmaker Ovie Ejaria playing an instrumental role.
The former Liverpool midfielder averaged 33 passes per match last season, with a completion rate of 84%, showing his importance in the Royals’ build-up play.
Thomas Ince could also be a significant threat this campaign, as he netted two goals in 15 league appearances for Reading last season as they secured second-tier safety.
On the opening day, boss Ince opted for Yakou Méïté to lead the line, with the French striker also set to play an important role this season.
CLUB CONNECTIONS | BLUEBIRDS AND ROYALS
The Bluebirds have a history of recruiting players from Reading, with a number of players making the switch to the Welsh capital in the last few years.
This summer, boss Steve Morison completed the acquisition of midfielder Andy Rinomhota, who made his competitive debut in our opening day victory over Norwich City.
Defender Sean Morrison arrived in South Wales from Reading in 2014, going on to become a hugely popular figure at CCS and play an integral role in the club’s promotion to the Premier League in 2017/18.
Another to join City from Reading is striker Adam Le Fondre, who was hugely prolific during his time with Saturday’s opponents. Playing one season in the Premier League during his career, Le Fondre netted a respectable tally of 12 goals.
In January 2019, the Bluebirds acquired Leandro Bacuna from Reading, who went on to make 109 league appearances for City during his time at the club before moving on this summer.
A hugely familiar face in the Reading squad is Junior Hoilett, who spent five years at CCS between 2016 and 2021. Playing a big part in the 2017/18 promotion-winning squad, the winger played the full 90 minutes against Blackpool last time out.