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Reading vrs Fulham Preview - Ch. Playoff 2nd Leg

last updated Tuesday 16th May 2017, 1:57 PM

Match Preview

Reading vrs Fulham

Championship PlayOff 2nd Leg 1617 at Madejski Stadium

Tuesday 16th May 2017    KO: 19:45

Referee: Martin Atkinson(West Yorkshire)

Live on Sky 3

Fulham found themselves frustrated by Reading's combative approach on Saturday. It was difficult to play their usual expansive game for long periods.

Presumably Reading will have to change their approach at home, and that may allow some of the Cottagers' technical players to contribute more.

Slavisa Jokanovic must decide whether or not to start Chris Martin tomorrow. He offers a focal point to the attack and has valuable experience of exactly this sort of occasion.

However Fulham were offensively better when he came off on Saturday and Sone Aluko was pushed furthest forward.

Fulham Coach Slavisa Jokanovic
Fulham Coach
Slavisa Jokanovic
Slavisa Jokanovic
His Wiki page
Fulham coach Slavisa Jokanovic said  "I'm an optimist, I believe in my players and they believe in themselves and they've shown in the first leg that they play with confidence.

"Reading put us in a complicated situation (in the first leg) and we didn't find enough space for our combinations and we didn't move the ball with enough pace.

"But I believe we will show our personality as a team in the return leg.

"I'm not scared about the situation, that's football and yes there's potential for a penalty shoot-out, but there's one game in front of us and that's all."

Reading Manager Jaap Stam
Reading Manager
Jaap Stam
His Wiki page
Reading manager Jaap Stam said "We've got options if Jordan Obita is doubtful and that's the good thing about having a big squad.

"We've had players coming back into the squad too recently from injuries as well and you need those options to be able to make changes.

"Everyone's excited for the second leg, but there's still a game to play against a very good side, even though you've got home advantage.

"We need to be aware of that and they need to score. It's going to be a very interesting game with two very good teams playing against each other, so let's just wait and see what's going to happen."

Match facts

Fulham have lost both previous away games in the play-offs without netting a single goal - 0-1 v Bristol Rovers (1989) and 0-1 v Grimsby Town (1998).

After his first leg goal at Craven Cottage, no Championship midfielder has been involved in more goals this season (including play-offs) than Tom Cairney (23 - 13 goals, 10 assists).

The team that finished sixth in the Championship has won promotion via the play-offs just once in the last 11 seasons - Blackpool in 2009-10.

Reading are unbeaten in their past four home matches against Fulham (W2 D2) in all competitions.

The Royals have lost just two of their past 10 games (including play-offs), winning seven (D1 L2).

Reading have won just once in five home play-off matches, failing to score on four occasions (D2 L2).

The Royals will be hoping to make it to their first play-off final since 2010-11, but they have failed to win promotion from all five of their previous play-off campaigns.

Source BBC Sports/Nick Godwin at BBC Radio London
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