The Select Car Leasing Stadium has the honour of hosting Peterborough and Reading for their first game of the 2023/24 League One season this Saturday. This is also Reading’s first season back in League One after a 23 year long absence, with The Royals looking to bounce right back up to the Championship. Peterborough reached the Play-offs in their season back in League One after Championship relegation and will look to repeat this feat or go even further.
Reading had a tough run in the 2022/23 Championship season. Much like during the 2021/22 Championship season, Reading were faced with a six point deduction. However, unlike the 2021/22 season, this deduction was for Reading’s late payment of player wages in April of 2023. Had they not been penalised for this, Reading would’ve survived relegation with these extra six points as Cardiff City sat in 21st on 49 points in comparison to Reading’s 44 points.
This summer Reading have prepared their squad for their League One season by shopping for their transfers within League One. This includes the likes of Sam Smith from Cambridge United, Lewis Wing from Wycombe and Harvey Knibbs from Cambridge United, all on free transfers.
Reading have played five games for their preseason this July, but were unable to manage a single win or draw, losing all five games. The Royals first faced Wimbledon, losing 1 - 0, then travelling to Sutton to lose 2 - 0 to Sutton United. Newly-Championship side Southampton thrashed Reading 4 - 2, followed by a 2 - 0 win for QPR and finally a dominant 4 - 0 win for Swansea.
Peterborough’s last season gives a positive start for The Posh, knowing they are capable of reaching the Play-offs. The Posh finished sixth in the 2022/23 season with 24 wins, five draws and 17 losses, finishing on 77 points just one point ahead of seventh-place Derby County. In fact, the only real negative aspect of the season was the fact that Peterborough was a shocking 24 points behind League One champions Plymouth Argyle.
In terms of transfers this summer, The Posh have acquired the talents of Romoney Crichlow from Huddersfield and goalkeeper Fynn Talley from Brighton’s U21 team so far, both on a free transfer.
The Posh have had a longer preseason run-out than their Saturday afternoon opponents, playing an extra game. Peterborough also have had a more successful preseason, winning three games, drawing one and losing twice. The Posh put seven goals past Stamford in a 7 - 1 win, four goals past Bedford Town in a 4 - 1 win and squeaked past Birmingham in a 3 - 2 win. Peterborough drew 1 - 1 with Colchester and suffered a 1 - 0 loss to Peterborough Sports and a 3 - 1 loss to newly-Premier League Luton Town.
Peterborough and Reading have met professionally 51 times in their histories. The Royals have won this fixture on 19 occasions in comparison to The Posh’s 17 wins. This also means that in 15 instances, both teams shared the points. In the last five meetings between the two, Reading have won twice, Peterborough have won twice and the most recent clash ended in a 0 - 0 draw. However, the only two meetings in the 2020s, Reading won once and the two drew, making The Royals the likely candidates to win this weekend.