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Match Previews

🔜 Ahead of the game | FA Cup campaign begins with Luton test

Our preview of Saturday’s short trip to Kenilworth Road

8 January 2021

The Royals will look to continue their unbeaten start to 2021 as we begin our Emirates FA Cup campaign with a third-round trip to Luton Town this weekend.

It has been a matter of weeks since the sides last met, and Veljko Paunović’s men will look to get the better of the Hatters once more, having beaten them on Boxing Day when Nathan Jones’ side visited the Madejski.

Pauno will be eager to see his side book their place in the fourth round of the competition come Saturday evening, but a tough test lies in store at Kenilworth Road.

How to watch

The fixture at Kenilworth Road has been selected for live broadcasting on BT Sport Extra 6, meaning this is the only place supporters can access a video stream of Saturday’s match.

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However, supporters will also be able to tune in to audio commentary, available during the game via iFollow. The kick-off time has also been moved forward to 12pm.

The opposition

The Hatters have proved a much stronger outfit in their second successive campaign at this level and find themselves sitting 14th in the Sky Bet Championship table, heading into this one.

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Luton’s previous fixture was postponed due to positive Covid-19 tests within the camp, but they come into the game on the back of a 2-1 win over Bristol City which saw them end the year on a high. During December, Jones’s side also pulled off an impressive victory over league leaders, Norwich City.

That said, the hosts have won just two of their previous seven league matches and will be eager to set the record straight against the Royals in their third meeting since September.

One to watch: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

The 22-year-old Leicester City loanee has received his fair share of plaudits for his performances during his short time with Luton and capped a successful first half of the season with his first goal for the club during their 2-1 win over Bristol City.

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A left-footed player operating in defensive-midfield, Dewsbury-Hall has registered 15 appearances for Town this season, and recently signed a new four-year deal with Foxes, securing his long-term future at the King Power Stadium.

Pre-match chat

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Head-to-Head

Reading have won four of their last five meetings against Luton, dating back to a 5-1 thumping during a League Cup meeting in 2008.  Of the 55 meetings between the two clubs in all competitions, the Royals have won 26 of those, drawing an additional eight.

Most recently, goals from Tom McIntyre and Alfa Semedo saw Reading edge past the Hatters with a 2-1 win on home soil at the tail end of 2020.

The Royals will hope to continue their impressive record in the FA Cup, and progress into round four as they have done in three of their previous five attempts.

Ref watch

Darren Bond will be the man in the middle for our trip to Bedfordshire, for what will be his fourth Royals match of the season. Bond had previously officiated our opening day win over Derby County, followed by our away trips to both Middlesbrough and Bournemouth.

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In his 15 games to date, Bond has issued 53 yellow cards, and a further two red cards.

Lee Vanamore and Bhupinder Gill will assist Bond on the day, while Declan Bourne will act as the fourth official.

Reminder

A polite reminder to our supporters that no unauthorised access will be permitted to this game, so supporters must not travel to Kenilworth Road.

We can’t wait to see you all again soon – but for now it’s important that when we play, please stay away.


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