Stoke – Reading Predictions
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Stoke 3-2 Reading
Date: 07.08.2021 | Match at: 15:00 | League: ENGLAND: Championship – Round 1 | Tip: Over 1.5 Goals | Odds: 1.48 | Bookie: Unibet.
Stoke – Reading Match Preview
- Stoke City gear up to play their fourth consecutive Championship season, but will be fully aware that the last time they got promoted to England’s top tier (2007/08) came after a run of six seasons at this level. After witnessing several key departures this summer, and registering a bottom-half finish in their last three Championship campaigns, their wait to emulate past glories seems likely to continue.
- As well as being burdened by an indifferent home record last Championship season (W9, D5, L9), Stoke last won their first league match of a new season back in 2009, losing seven of their 11 openers since (D4, L7). Eight of those curtain raisers produced under 2.5 match goals, as have four of the last five H2Hs.
- After falling one place short of the Championship playoffs last term, Reading will be keen on starting well here as they hunt promotion to England’s top-tier after being relegated in 2012/13. A strong defensive setup will likely be focal for the ‘Royals’, after 2020/21 saw them register their best defensive record in a single second-tier season since the club’s successful 2011/12 title-winning campaign, by conceding an average of just 1.17 goals per game.
- Reading have reached the playoff final as recently as 2017, but on a less encouraging note, they have recorded a 75% loss rate across their last four season openers (W1, L3). However, they might be at their most potent late in the first half, having scored almost a third (32.0%) of their 25 away league goals during 2020/21 within the period spanning the 31st minute to HT.
- Players to watch: Stoke’s top league scorer last season was Nick Powell, who scored six of his 12 goals beyond the hour mark, although two of his three career goals vs Reading have come inside the opening 20 minutes. Similarly, Lucas João netted nine of his 19 league goals for Reading during 2020/21 after the 60th minute.
- Hot stat: Reading lost ‘to nil’ in a joint league-low 8.70% (two) of their away matches in 2020/21.