MX23RW : Thursday, October 22 16:21:37| >> :60:2518:2518:
Oct 3, 2020 at 3pm UK at Madejski Stadium
Puscas (41')
Laurent (39'), Richards (62'), Tetek (87')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Wilmot (40'), Pedro (87'), Chalobah (90+4')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Reading and Watford, including team news and predicted lineups.

Reading will be out to maintain their perfect start to the Championship campaign when they take on Watford at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Royals beat Cardiff City last week to make it three wins from three to begin the campaign, while Watford are two points further back after making a positive start of their own.

Match preview

Not a lot was expected at Reading under unknown boss Veljko Paunovic this season but, a little over a month into his tenure, he continues to defy expectations.

Paunovic's side are kept off top spot on goal difference by Bristol City after following up 2-0 wins over Derby County and Barnsley with a 2-1 victory at Cardiff last Saturday.

Michael Morrison headed Reading into the lead early in the second half and Lucas Joao added a second with a composed finish, rendering Lee Tomlin's strike late on just a consolation.

The Royals are now looking to make it four league wins in a row to begin a season for the first time since 1985-86 when they were promoted from the third tier as champions.

Watford will provide a very tough test, though, having picked up two wins and a draw from their three matches since being relegated from the Premier League.

Watford's Joao Pedro celebrates scoring against Luton Town in the Championship on September 26, 2020© Reuters

Vladimir Ivic's side have defeated Middlesbrough and rivals Luton Town by the same 1-0 scoreline at home, either side of a stalemate away to Sheffield Wednesday.

Joao Pedro was the matchwinner in that most recent outing, converting Ken Sema's low cross from close range in what was a tight contest at Vicarage Road.

Not since 1988-89 have Watford kept a clean sheet in their first four league matches, with the Hornets facing a league-low five shots on target so far this term.

The visitors were 2-0 winners when the sides last met at the Madejski Stadium in a 2018-19 EFL Cup tie, and they ran out resounding 4-1 winners in the most recent league game.

Reading Championship form: WWW
Reading form (all competitions): WWLWW

Watford Championship form: WDW
Watford form (all competitions): WWDLW

Team News

Ismaila Sarr pictured for Watford in July 2020© Reuters

John Swift, Andy Yiadom and Felipe Araruna are the Royals' only confirmed absentees for the visit of Watford.

Paunovic continues to have a selection headache at right-back, where Liam Moore may have to fill in due those aforementioned injuries.

Joao limped off after scoring against Cardiff in what could prove to be a big blow for Reading, so George Puskas may make his first league start of the season.

As for Watford, Ivic now has the likes of Pedro, Troy Deeney and Ismaila Sarr to call upon, while Domingos Quina may come in for this match.

Defender William Troost-Ekong was added to an already very strong squad this week, but he is expected to be made to wait for his debut.

Watford have had a full week's rest between matches so not many changes are likely at the Madejski Stadium.

Reading possible starting lineup:
Cabral; Moore, Morrison, McIntyre, Richards; Laurent, Rinomhota; Meite, Ejaria, Olise; Puscas

Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Cathcart, Kabasele, Wilmot; Ngakia, Chalobah, Cleverley, Sema; Sarr, Quina; Pedro

SM words green background

We say: Reading 1-0 Watford

Watford have been very strong defensively so far this season but they have not exactly been free-scoring at the other end of the field.

The Hornets' away record is pretty poor and we can see them slipping to a first loss of the campaign this weekend.

Should that happen, Reading boss Paunovic will become the first manager to win his first four league matches in England's top four tiers since Maurizio Sarri for Chelsea in 2018.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data


Who will win Saturday's Championship clash between Reading and Watford?

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Veljko Paunovic pictured in March 2019
Read Next:
Veljko Paunovic bemoans injury problems in win over Cardiff City
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.