Wolves might be happy to make a point at the Madejski.
Kenny Jackett was fulsome in his praise of goalkeeper Carl Ikeme following last Saturday’s narrow win over Bolton Wanderers. The locally-born long-serving goalkeeper has had a chequered career at Molineux, spending time out on loan on several occasions during his nine years at the club.
But he’s nailed down the number one spot over the last two seasons and has been excellent so far this campaign as an integral part of the meanest defence in the division. His penalty save from Bolton’s Owen Garvan proved vital and Wolves could go top of the Championship with a win at mid-table Reading this week.
But the manager accepts that his team will have to start putting away their chances if they are to consolidate a place in the top six. His forwards have only managed eight goals so far in the league – only the bottom six have scored fewer. Wolves can’t keep relying on their defence to keep them out of trouble and there may be a doubt over the fitness of Nouha Dicko ahead of the trip to the Madejski Stadium as he only lasted 45 minutes against Bolton.
Leon Clarke would be the obvious replacement but he’s not impressed when given his chance so far this season so Jackett may opt to recall Rajiv van La Parra instead and tinker with his starting formation.
Reading won the last meeting between the sides at the Madejski five years ago but that was a rare success. Wolves boast a good record in this fixture on the whole, winning on four of their six previous visits to Berkshire and drawing the other two. The Royals have been Ipswich, Fulham and Millwall at home this season but lost to struggling Hudderfield.
They’ve lost their last two in league and cup without scoring but only had themselves to blame at Sheffield Wednesday last weekend, missing a penalty and several good opportunities. The goals should start flowing again soon for Nigel Adkins’ talented team and Wolves can’t take anything for granted.
Reading should be thereabouts again at the end of the season so a Draw wouldn’t be a bad result for Wolves this weekend (9/4). Given both teams’ lack of goals lately, a bet on under 3.5 total goals and a draw in the Matchbet + totals market could be interesting at 14/5.
The match kicks off at 1.15pm on Sunday, September 28th at the Madejski Stadium.