Reading vs Luton Town preview: Team news, key battle and how to watch
DERBY, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Veljko Paunovic, Manager of Reading FC (L) looks on from the sidelines during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Reading at Pride Park Stadium on September 12, 2020 in Derby, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Veljko Paunovic will take charge of his first home game as Reading manager against Luton Town in the Carabao Cup.

The Serbian won his opening Championship match 0-2 at Pride Park against Derby County on Saturday, and will hope to make it two wins from two on Tuesday.

Similarly, travelling side Luton won their first league match 0-1 against Barnsley at Oakwell, and so will also be looking to maintain their 100% record this season.

If the two sides needed any extra motivation, the winner of this fixture will host giants Manchester United in the third round next week.

Key Battle

Both sides have started the new season on fine form, and that is mainly down to the goal-scoring exploits of two men.

For the Berkshire-based side it is Portuguese striker Lucas Joao.

Signed last year for a reported £5 million, the former Sheffield Wednesday forward averaged a goal contribution every other game, although it was an injury-hit year and he only played 20 league matches.

This season he has five goal contributions in two matches, including a hattrick against Colchester United in the opening round of this competition.

If they can keep him fit and firing, they have a strong forward line to choose from with Yakou Meite and George Puscas also in the squad.

The visitors meanwhile have their own scoring machine, Irish international James Collins.

He also has four goals to his name, including a first round Carabao Cup hattrick against Norwich City.

With clean sheets in both of the sides' league matches last weekend, it could be down to the quality of striker to separate the two.

Last Meeting

The last two these sides met was in July as Mark Bowen's Reading ran riot at Kenilworth Road, beating Nathan Jones' side 0-5.

A four-goal haul for Meite and a fifth from Puscas sealed the sides biggest score-line of the season.

Reading did the doubled over Luton last season having also beaten them 3-0 at the Madejski in November.

 

 

Team News

With it being a League Cup fixture, changes are expected from both sides.

Ivorian Meite has served the final game of this three-match ban and so is in contention for his first competitive action of the season.

Puscas and young defender Tom McIntyre are both back from international duty with Romania and Scotland Under-23s respectively, and so are also in contention.

 

Pre-Match Thoughts

Welshman Jones has nothing but admiration for Reading and expects a tough game in Berkshire.

He told the club website:

"Reading are quite innovative with a lot of their managers, they don’t go for the obvious choice and they have had good success with that, especially Jaap Stam.

“Ironically it was my first taste of managerial action. I was caretaker manager at Brighton, against Steve Clarke and we ended up drawing 2-2, two-nil down after 11 minutes so it wasn’t the best start. We rallied, equalised late on and probably should have won the game.

"We got promoted ahead of them when I was at Brighton, Steve Coppell left to go to them so they’re a good side. Recently a Premier League side, wonderful players, so it’s going to be a real tough game but these are the teams you want to test yourself against, magnificent prize awaiting for the winner so a bit of added spice.”

 

How to Watch

The game is available on both club's iFollow services for £10.

Highlights will be available on 'Carabao Cup On Quest' tomorrow at 22.20 BST.

 

 

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