Reading vs Fulham… it has been one of the most recurring fixtures in the EFL during the last 12 months.
A 5-0 reverse at Craven Cottage last December, an aborted game on the return at Madejski Stadium due to fog, and a 1-0 triumph when the game was rescheduled in January. And then victory over two legs in the play-offs last season to send us to Wembley.
"They have a lot of quality in that team – good players that play in a certain way that is very attractive and very difficult for their opposition to play against."
So it’ll be the sixth time in the last year that our boys will have lined up in the tunnel opposite the Cottagers… Royals boss Jaap Stam knows all about the qualities they will bring to Madejski Stadium this weekend.
“Fulham is a big club – they can get their squad together and keep it together, and get some extra additions in so that they become stronger and stronger. That’s how it goes,” Jaap said.
“That’s where we want to get to as well. I don’t think we’re there yet, but hopefully we’ll do that in a couple of seasons.
“They have a lot of quality in that team – good players that play in a certain way that is very attractive and very difficult for their opposition to play against.
“But we’ve done it before and we know how they are basically going to play – certain details will be a bit different, but we’re expecting that. Hopefully we can do well.”
Goal-scorer Yann Kermorgant celebrates last year's play-off win against Fulham
After a midweek win in the Carabao Cup, it is a chance to get the league season rolling at Madejski Stadium too.
The Royals were on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline at QPR on the opening day, but defeated Gillingham in midweek by the same margin to get off to a winning start on home turf.
“The league is the most important thing for us this season – everybody knows that,” continued Jaap. “Fulham is going to be a very big game – everybody knows about the games that we played against them last season, and there’s a lot of rivalry.
“It’s two teams that want to win playing in a certain way, and it makes it interesting as well.
“We lost at QPR in a way that we are not used to, to be honest. Credit to them in how they performed of course, but we could have done a lot better and we should have done a lot better.
“But onto Fulham at home… hopefully a lot of fans will turn up, and the players want to show themselves and get a good result of course against a team like that.”
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