Palace Preview: Defensive test awaits Palace against Reading

July 30, 2021 7:38 am

Crystal Palace will be looking to build fitness and continue their work under Patrick Vieira as they play their fourth pre-season game against Championship opponents Reading.

An away trip to Madejski stadium could prove to be the toughest test of pre-season so far, with the game being the last of Reading’s friendlies before they start their Championship campaign against Stoke City.

The match with Michael Olise’s former side will not be the Royals’ first test against Premier League opposition this pre-season, however, with Veljko Paunovic’s men already losing 3-0 to West Ham United.

THE OPPOSITION

Reading finished seventh in 2020/21, just outside the play-off places, and scored 62 goals in the process. Their attacking threat will be a good test for the Palace defence, although the hosts’ top scorer from last season Lucas Joao has yet to feature in pre-season as he has a minor hip injury. Their attack also been weakened with the loss of Olise, who joined Palace in July.

Reading have not signed anyone in this transfer window as they and several other clubs are currently under a transfer embargo. This places restrictions on the deals they can conduct, but does not prevent them from making signings.

They won their first pre-season game against Lincoln City 1-0 before losing to West Ham and most recently drawing 1-1 with Charlton Athletic. The Eagles also drew with Charlton in a recent friendly, ending Vieira’s first match at Selhurst Park 2-2.

TACTICAL OVERVIEW

In their last pre-season game, Reading were caught out by a through ball down the left side of their defence, which eventually led to a cross being put into the box and tapped in at the far post. This pattern of play is something Palace could look to exploit, with Wilfried Zaha’s pace in wide areas.

Creating chances out wide could be key to the Eagles’ attack this season, and with more emphasis seemingly on the full-backs getting forward, it will be interesting to see how this develops attacking scenarios down the wing.

Vieira would have been impressed by the chances created by his team against Ipswich Town and by the performance of his Academy players against Charlton.

Two clean sheets will also have been welcomed by the coaching staff and the defence’s solid foundation will be tested even more in this fixture. Another good performance at the back would stand the Eagles in good stead heading into their final pre-season friendly against Watford.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

The last meeting between these two sides came in a 4-0 win for Palace in a 2018 pre-season friendly (above). The last competitive game was in Palace’s run to the 2016 FA Cup final. The south Londoners won the quarter-final meeting against Reading 2-0, with goals from Yohan Cabaye from the penalty spot and a late effort from Fraizer Campbell.

The game turned on its head when Jake Cooper was sent off for Reading, receiving a second yellow card after a pulling back Yannick Bolasie. This led to the penalty which gave Palace the lead.

HOW TO FOLLOW

ON PALACE TV+

Reading v Palace will be shown live on Palace TV+, a new subscription service which gives subscribers live access to selected pre-season match broadcasts, selected Academy match broadcasts, live audio commentary of all league and cup first-team games, and more.

You can find out more by clicking here.

CAN SUPPORTERS ATTEND?

Yes. Fans will be at Madejski stadium, however tickets are no longer available for delivery.

Tickets will be on sale from 12pm on Friday 30th, but will only available for collection at the Selhurst Park Box Office.

SOCIAL MEDIA

You can check out our Instagram story for all of the pre-match build-up and our official Twitter page is bringing you up-to-the-minute match updates, eye-catching photos and more.

Our club website, cpfc.co.uk, is the place to go for team news on the dot, an instant report and all the post-match reaction.

THE OFFICIAL APP

All of the above is also available through the official app, which you can download or upgrade for free here!