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Sep 18, 2021 at 3pm UK
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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