Preview: Port Vale vs. Reading – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s League One clash between Port Vale and Reading, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Port Vale and Reading will both be looking to pick up their first points of the League One season when they face off at Vale Park on Saturday.

The Valiants began their league campaign with a demoralising 7-0 defeat to Barnsley, while the Royals were edged out by Peterborough United.

Match preview

Southampton manager Ruben Selles pictured on April 21, 2023© Reuters

After ending last season with just one win in 11 league games, Port Vale would have been desperate to get off to a positive start in their opening game against Barnsley.

However, it proved to be a forgettable experience, as they were blown away by a Barnsley side who managed to rack up seven goals without reply.

Andy Crosby‘s charges quickly picked themselves up for Tuesday’s EFL Cup game against Fleetwood Town, where they restored confidence with a 3-2 home win.

Ethan Chislett cancelled out Cian Hayes‘s opener, before Fleetwood restored their lead through Ryan Graydon, but the Valiants fought back to emerge victorious thanks to a strike from Josh Thomas and Chislett’s second goal of the evening.

After receiving a boost in midweek, Port Vale will attempt to claim all three points in their first home league game of the season when they face Reading for the first time since December 2001.

While Port Vale are aiming to improve on last season’s 18th-place finish, Reading will be setting their targets a little higher following their relegation from the Championship.

Hopes of mounting a promotion push have not been helped by the club’s off-field issues, but Ruben Selles is beginning to make some much-needed additions as his side look to challenge for the top six.

Reading, who are playing in League One for the first time since the 2001-02 season, began the new campaign with a narrow home defeat to Peterborough United last weekend.

A youthful-looking side managed to bounce back in midweek, as the Royals thrashed Millwall 4-0 in the first round of the EFL Cup courtesy of a Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan brace as well as goals from Charlie Savage and Mamadi Camara.

After booking their place in the second round, Reading will turn their focus to Saturday’s encounter, and they will be desperate to claim their first league win since February.

Port Vale League One form:

Port Vale form (all competitions):

Reading League One form:

Reading form (all competitions):

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Team News

After making his Port Vale debut in midweek, Alex Iacovitti could retain his place in the back three alongside Lewis Cass and Nathan Smith.

Summer additions Chislett and Thomas are both expected to remain in the starting XI after scoring their first goals for the club in midweek.

Tom Sang and Ben Garrity dropped down to the bench for Tuesday’s cup game, but the pair are expected to return to the lineup for Saturday’s contest.

As for the Royals, they signed David Button on a free transfer this week, and the goalkeeper could be thrown straight into the side for his Reading debut.

After being utilised as a substitute in the opening two games of the season, summer signing Lewis Wing could be presented with his first start for the club.

Ehibhatiomhan would have been bouyed by his midweek brace, and the youngster will be looking to find the net again when he leads the line alongside Andy Carroll.

Port Vale possible starting lineup:
Ripley; Cass, Smith, Iacovitti; Sang, Chislett, Ojo, Garrity, Grant; Harrison, Thomas

Reading possible starting lineup:
Button; Yiadom, Holmes, McIntyre, Guinness-Walker; Azeez, Wing, Savage, Knibbs; Ehibhatiomhan, Carroll

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We say: Port Vale 1-2 Reading

Both sides would have taken confidence from their midweek cup victories, and they will now be looking to claim three points for the first time this season.

While off-field issues have hampered their recruitment, Reading can still field a strong side, and we think they will have enough quality to edge out Port Vale on Saturday.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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