Huddersfield Town sit 23rd in the table with only a single point after struggling in every game so far this season. In Mark Hudson’s first at the helm of the Terriers, they lost 2-1 away from home at Cardiff City. Junior Hoilett netted in the 88th minute to bring late despair to the travelling support.
Reading are 13th in the league on four points. After initial losses to Sheffield Wednesday and Hull City, they have bounced back and are three unbeaten. The ‘R’s have a somewhat easy draw in the second round of the Carabao Cup, facing Ryan Lowe’s Plymouth Argyle. Also, Reading faired much better when they played Cardiff - defeating the Bluebirds 3-0.
The last time that the two sides faced was in the 2017 playoff final, when the Terriers clinched a win on penalties at Wembley Stadium to send them to the Premier League. In that season, each side picked up three points, both winning 1-0 at their retrospective stadiums.
A rarity in football, Huddersfield manager Hudson revealed in his press conference that every member of his squad are fit for Saturday’s tie.
However, Royals striker Yakou Méïté missed Wednesday night’s match against West Bromwich Albion due to an issue with his foot. As well as him, Tyler Blackett and Jordan Obita are both out injured
Who to look out for
Huddersfield Town - Karlan Grant
If there has been one constant positive for fans of Huddersfield over the start of the season, it is the form of striker Grant. Before the Cardiff tie, he had netted in every league game, and he has looked strong in all fixtures he has featured in for the terriers
Reading FC - George Pușcaș
The Romanian ended last season at Palermo, but, after their relegation to Serie D, Inter Milan decided to exercise their buyback clause. Soon after this, Reading purchased the forward for a fee of around €8m plus €2m in bonuses.
He has scored three so far for the Royals, netting twice in the win against Cardiff.
Huddersfield Town: Grabara, Kongolo, Schindler (c), Elphick, Hadergjonaj, Hogg, Chalobah, van La Parra, Pritchard, Mbenza, Karlan Grant
Reading: Johnstone, Furlong, Ajayi, Bartley, Gibbs, Livermore (c), Phillips, Sawyers, Diangana, Krovinovic, Austin
The Managers' Thoughts
Huddersfield's head coach talked about how their game-plan can be implemented:
“The way we want to play is high energy and that takes a little bit of time to get to that level because we’re going to be a possession-based team
“We need to be constantly on the move, consistently working hard and we’re maybe not there yet but we’re working on it.
“We want to put our stamp on games, and we’ll continue to try to do that.”
He later spoke of their opposition:
“Reading have done well so far this season, but we have to pose them a problem and we’ve worked hard to deliver that message to the players.
“It’s about what we do and what problems we can cause them, so we’ll focus on ourselves.
“That’s not to say we’re taking Reading lightly at all but it’s about us. We’re at home and we can implement our style and cause them as many problems as we can."
Reading manager José Gomes and his players have over 1,000 miles to travel in a week, and he mentioned the impact this takes on not only the side but the game-plan:
“This is the schedule – recover, prepare, pick up our luggage and travel again.
“We have a lot of away games, and not so many at home. It is not a usual situation, but this is what we have and we must be prepared for all of this.
“Now, I will start watching videos of Huddersfield – our analysts have already prepared the information. I’ll try to understand how they will play against us. On the bus back from West Brom, I’ll start studying them.”