Newly promoted Reading are at home to Stoke in their opening fixture of their return to their return to the Premier League. the two sides have never met before in the English top flight at all. Overall, they have met on 46 occasions – Reading (7/5 to win the match) have the edge, with 17 wins to Stoke's 16 victories. The last time Stoke won at Reading was a 1-0 win in Division Two on Boxing Day in 1992.
Championship winners Reading lost 11 league matches last season, compared to just nine the previous season (when they finished fifth and failed to get promoted through the play-offs). But they won 27 matches out of 46 games last season, compared to 20 the term previous. Reading (3/1 to win with a clean sheet) had the best defence of any Championship team last season, keeping 20 clean sheets.
Yet they scored the fewest goals of any team in the top five, notching just 69. However that should change with the signing of Pavel Pogrebnyak (11/2 First Goal Scorer). The Russian international began his loan spell at Craven Cottage with a goal against Stoke so maybe the fixture computer has been kind to him and his new employers.
The Potters (2/1 to win the match) had the lowest ranked attack of any Premier League team last season, scoring just 36 goals in 38 games. Tony Pulis' men won just one of the final 10 Premier League matches last season. They opened their 2011-12 Premier League campaign unbeaten in four games, winning two of them.