Vital Stoke predicts: Reading v Stoke
Whilst Stoke may have avoided the big guns on the opening weekend, Reading away will be no easy ride.
Reading were incredible towards the back end of last season, and being especially formidable at home, they`ll be desperate to get off to a strong start at The Madjeski on Saturday.
Stoke might be against a newly promoted team, but the Royals have a winning mentality and an attacking style of play which could really trouble a Stoke side who were far from convincing on the road last season.
We`ve been branded as tough to beat, but all to often on our travels we have been a soft touch, and to get anything from Saturday`s game the Potters will have to be 100% ready for a battle.
Reading have some very good footballers and I believe we will have to ride our luck at times.
However, it`s a fresh start, and I can see Stoke coming away with a draw, which would be a good result in my opinion.
As ever, scoring goals is where the problem lies for Stoke, but perhaps a rather untried defence at this level may buckle against the likes of Peter Crouch - we will see…
I think the first 20 minutes are crucial, the home crowd will be buzzing and an early Reading goal would be very hard to come back from in my view.
Mckeon`s prediction Reading 1 - 1 Stoke.