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This Week's Opposition: Reading

Photo Credit: Reading FC

It’s 25 unbeaten now for the Blues, who were held to a goalless draw away at Cambridge on Tuesday night. Next up, John Mousinho takes his side to the Select Car Leasing Stadium, where struggling Reading await.

The Royals are experiencing issues aplenty both on and off the pitch at the moment.

Time now to find out a little bit more about Pompey’s next opponent.

MANAGER

Spanish football manager Rubén Sellés is at the helm for The Royals.

He played for local side Parreta CF before finishing his formation with Burjassot CF. At the age of 16 he was already coaching the youth sides of Paretta and in 2002 he entered the University of Valencia, becoming a coach of the club’s football team. He went on to lead the club to promotion in their first senior season.

In 2022, Sellés joined rivals Southampton, initially as an assistant. After the sacking of Ralph Hasenhüttl he was placed in caretaker charge of the club.

He took charge of Southampton until the appointment of new manager Nathan Jones and, after Jones was sacked at the beginning of 2023, Sellés took charge again. His first game was a 1-0 away victory over Chelsea and he went on to manage the side until the end of the 2022/23 season.

Back in July, Reading announced an agreement with Sellés to become their new first team manager. His first game in charge was a 0-1 defeat to Peterborough, which was followed by a 0-4 victory against Millwall in the Carabao Cup.

ONE TO WATCH

Our one to watch this time around is number 11, Femi Azeez.

Azeez originally signed for the Royals’ academy in 2019 and, after going out on loan to Bracknell Town, Reading announced the signing of the winger/striker on a 1-year pro contract in 2020.

A year later in 2021, Reading announced that Azeez had signed another year-long contract with the club.

He scored his first goal for Reading and his first professional goal in a 2-1 win against Preston North End in August of that same year.

Azeez has now entered his 6th season with the club, during such time he has made a total of 36 appearances, scoring 2 goals.

TOP SCORER

Dominic Ballard is the current top goalscorer for The Royals. 

The Southampton loanee started his professional career playing for the Southampton Under-23s. He made his senior debut for the club and scored his first goal for the first team in a 3-0 win at Cambridge United in the Carabao Cup.

Ballard then went on to make his Premier League debut in a 3-1 defeat to Brighton.

After Southampton’s relegation to the Championship, Ballard signed a 2-year contract extension until 2026.

Ballard has 3 goals to his name so far this term, scoring a brace in a 9-0 victory against Exeter City in the EFL Trophy - He then scored his first league goal for the club in a 3-1 defeat to Northampton Town.

The forward wears the number 9 shirt.

CURRENT FORM

Reading currently sit 23rd in the League One table on 6 points after being relegated from the Championship, 1 point ahead of Cheltenham Town, who remain bottom.

The Royals didn't have a strong start to their first season back in the 3rd tier, being deducted 6 points from the off due to breaking EFL financial rules. They also lost their first 2 games of the season.

Since then they have been victorious just 3 times, have drawn once and lost 10, with their 4 most recent games all ending in defeat.

On Tuesday night, Reading suffered late, late heartbreak at home to Fleetwood Town, who scored in stoppage time to reward their 111 visiting fans with a 2-1 away victory.

Who will come out on top in this one? Can the Blues maintain their unbeaten start to the season?

Find out when Pompey Live returns this Saturday (October 28th) from 2pm - Live from the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

Kick-off: 3pm!

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