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3 things to look for in the Preston North End v Reading match

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Reading travel to Preston North End without a permanent manager for the first time this season, as Martin Kuhl takes over the reins in a caretaker role after the removal of Steve Clarke from the manager position. 

Simon Grayson's Preston take on Reading this afternoon (3pm kick-off)

Simon Grayson’s Preston take on Reading this afternoon (3pm kick-off)

Clarke saw the end of the road at the ‘Mad Stad’ after a shocking run of games wielded only one win, in a scrappy 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers, who are rooted to the foot of the table and in the midst of some serious financial trouble.

After the Royals had been dismantled by a languishing Nottingham Forest side, Clarke’s side faced a Queens Park Rangers side still under a woeful away winless run, playing under Neil Warnock for the last time, in last Thursday’s live game.

They promptly lost 1-0 thanks to a 90th minute Nedum Onouha header, which was helped in by keeper Ali Al-Habsi.

The Thai owners made the decision to remove Clarke with immediate effect and former boss Brian McDermott is expected to be announced in the coming days.

As for Preston, Simon Grayson has done an excellent job in guiding his side to 18th in the Championship, five points clear of relegation after a run of just one defeat in nine league games.

FootballLeagueWorld writer Harry Smith identifies three things to look out for in this highly-anticipated clash…

1) Away support

The eyes of many will be drawn to the atmosphere created this afternoon by the Reading fans.

The atmosphere at recent games has been toxic at best and it will be interesting to see if the dismissal of Clarke will act as the catalyst needed to get the spring back in the feet of not just the Reading fans, but the players as well, who have looked lost at times in recent weeks.

2) Martin Kuhl’s squad selection

Having stepped up from his role as Under-21’s manager to take the caretaker role, it is expected for some surprise inclusions in the matchday squad to arise.

Rumours have surfaced that the young Josh Barrett being included in the squad, although Kuhl said himself that he is not in a position to change the team’s dynamic and style at the moment.

Reading fans are very much on edge.

3) Preston’s attitude from kick-off

Many North End fans will be hoping for their side to look to capitalise on the low confidence emanating from the Reading squad at the moment.

They will hope that Grayson sets his side up to attack from the get-go, and try to pick up an early goal and hold on from there.

With Preston’s sensational defensive record, in which they’ve conceded just three goals in their last nine matches, one goal may be enough to overcome the Royals.

Preston and Reading fans… what do you think the score will be this afternoon? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!


Aspiring Sports Journalist and Reading FC fan.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 things to look for in the Preston North End v Reading match

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