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Sep 18, 2021 at 3pm UK
FulhamFulham
1-2
ReadingReading
Muniz (86')
Michael Seri (28'), Wilson (57'), Odoi (65'), Ream (77')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Ejaria (19', 53')
Hoilett (34'), Swift (56'), Rahman (58')

Preview: Fulham vs. Reading - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Fulham vs. Reading - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Fulham and Reading, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Championship leaders Fulham welcome Reading to Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.

The Cottagers have taken 16 points from their first seven games of the season, while the Royals have seven points and sit 18th.


Match preview

After losing 1-0 at Blackpool last weekend, Fulham bounced back with an emphatic 4-1 win over Birmingham City on Wednesday night.

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored twice, while Denis Odoi and Harry Wilson also got on the scoresheet as Marco Silva's side reinforced their promotion credentials at St. Andrew's.

It is unsurprising that Fulham have both the best attack (17 goals scored) and the joint-best defence (five goals conceded) in the Championship, and they are unlikely to stray too far from the top two this season.

The Cottagers remain unbeaten at home in 2021-22, having taken seven points from nine games at Craven Cottage, conceding just once.

That is bad news for Reading, who have lost all three of their away games this season and have not won any of their last nine matches on the road since beating Rotherham United at the end of February.

On Tuesday night, the Royals won for the first time in five games as they beat fellow strugglers Peterborough United 3-1 at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

John Swift continued his impressive early season form with a superb free-kick and Watford loanee Tom Dele-Bashiru netted his first two goals for the club.

Veljko Paunovic's side have the joint-worst defence in the Championship with 17 goals conceded, but at the other end of the pitch only Fulham and Queens Park Rangers have scored more goals than Reading (13).

The Royals won on their last visit to Craven Cottage, as Swift and Charlie Adam netted in a 2-1 victory on New Year's Day in 2020.

Fulham Championship form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Fulham form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Reading Championship form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W



Team News

Former Reading loanee Nathaniel Chalobah impressed on his Fulham debut against Birmingham in midweek and should keep his place in midfield.

The Cottagers are likely to still be without teenager Fabio Carvalho, who has missed the last two games with a toe injury.

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season on Wednesday night, a tally only bettered by Reading's John Swift.

Swift has seven goals and three assists to his name, meaning he has played a part in 77% of Reading's goals this season.

The hand injury suffered by Royals goalkeeper Rafael Cabral is not as bad as first feared and the Brazilian is already back in training, but backup Luke Southwood should remain between the sticks at Craven Cottage.

Captain Liam Moore was forced off injured against Peterborough in midweek, with Tom Holmes likely to replace him in the centre of defence.

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Gazzaniga; Odoi, Adarabioyo, Ream, Bryan; Seri, Reed, Chalobah; Wilson, Mitrovic, Reid

Reading possible starting lineup:
Southwood; Yiadom, Holmes, Morrison, Rahman; Dele-Bashiru, Laurent; Hoilett, Swift, Ejaria; Puscas


We say: Fulham 3-1 Reading

Fulham showed how dangerous they can be on Wednesday night, and will be in a confident mood going up against the Championship's joint-worst defence. Reading will be boosted by their midweek win, but this is another challenge entirely and the Royals could be in for a tough afternoon.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data



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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bournemouth1410402481634
2Fulham1492333141929
3West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1484225111428
4Coventry CityCoventry147342017324
5Luton TownLuton145632318521
6Middlesbrough146351713421
7Queens Park RangersQPR146352522321
8Huddersfield TownHuddersfield146351817121
9Stoke CityStoke146351716121
10Millwall145631515021
11Blackpool146351718-121
12Blackburn RoversBlackburn145542317620
13Reading146172024-419
14Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd145362021-118
15Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest145271820-217
16Swansea CitySwansea144551517-217
17Bristol City144461520-516
18Birmingham CityBirmingham144461217-516
19Preston North EndPreston143651418-415
20Peterborough UnitedPeterborough144281627-1114
21Cardiff CityCardiff143291226-1411
22Hull City14239920-119
23Barnsley14158920-118
24Derby CountyDerby143831011-15
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5Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton943299015
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs9504913-415
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd94231615114
8Everton94231514114
9Leicester CityLeicester94231515014
10Arsenal94231013-314
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves941499013
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13Aston Villa93151315-210
14Watford93151217-510
15Crystal Palace91621114-39
16Southampton9153812-48
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19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle90451120-94
20Norwich CityNorwich9027223-212
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