Reading vs Derby: Winning start for Lampard
Reading vs Derby Match Preview and Predictions
[All odds correct at time of publication]
When is it? Friday 3rd August
What time is kick-off? 20:00
Where is it being played? Madejski Stadium
Which channel is it on? Sky Sports Main Event
Who is the referee? Robert Jones (Merseyside)
Derby begin life under Frank Lampard with a Championship trip to Reading.
The fixture at the Madejski Stadium finished in a 3-3 draw last season but the Rams will be keen to make a winning start to their promotion bid after luring ex-England midfielder Lampard to his first managerial role.
The contest also pits Reading boss Paul Clement against his former employers.
Reading vs Derby Betting Tips
Here are our best tips for the match and we also have a range of other markets available.
Reading took four points off Derby last season, winning 4-2 at Pride Park early in the campaign.
However, while Derby missed out on promotion via the play-offs, the Royals only stayed up on the last day after a goalless draw at Cardiff, who clinched promotion.
Reading have won just two of their 11 home league fixtures in 2018 and for that reason we are backing Derby to win at 13/10.
The Royals' last Madejski outing ended in a 4-0 thumping by Ipswich and the Berkshire side could be in for another difficult season.
Derby's away form in 2018 has not been much better - with just two wins and five draws from 11 Championship games - so 11/4 for the Rams to triumph 1-0, 2-1 or 2-0 looks an enticing odds boost price in the Reading vs Derby odds.
First goalscorer tips
Derby are blessed with attacking options as they prepare for an 11th successive season in the Championship.
One man who has certainly impressed Lampard is the experienced David Nugent. Having scored on his sole England appearance, Nugent finished last season in good form with three goals in five games and netted in the pre-season friendly win over Premier League new-boys Wolves last week so we are backing Nugent to get Lampard's tenure off to a flying start at 5/1.
Anytime goalscorer tips
Lampard hailed the loan capture of Mason Mount as "a massive coup" after returning to Chelsea to make the 19-year-old one of his first signings.
Mount, who has been with Chelsea's academy since the age of six, shone as England Under-19s won the European Championship last year. With his ability to run from deep into the box, something Lampard did throughout his career, Mount to score at anytime at 3/1 is the way to go.
Where the game will be won or lost
Reading released senior players Yann Kermogant, Stephen Quinn and Joey van den Berg at the end of last season to free up wages for Clement to bring in his own players.
Striker Marc McNulty has been bought from Coventry but is yet to find the net on a regular basis at this level, while John O'Shea and Andy Yiadom - who arrive on free transfers to bolster the defence - were both relegated from the second tier last term.
Lampard inherited a Derby squad which has been close to promotion in recent seasons and in Harry Wilson and Mount, who have arrived on season-long loans from Liverpool and Chelsea respectively, they look to have added two of the most promising attacking young players in the English game.
Only three teams scored more Championship goals than the Rams last term and, with Jack Marriott added to provide extra firepower, Reading's defence could be in for a busy afternoon.
With this being the first game of the season, a cagey opening period is a distinct possibility so we like the look of Draw/Derby in the Half Time/Full Time market at 19/4.
Reading have selection concerns with Chris Gunter, Adrian Popa, Callum Harriott, Dave Edwards, Garath McCleary and Jordan Obita all injured.
Tyler Blackett is suspended while Liam Moore will not play after handing in a transfer request last week. The likes of David Meyler, John O'Shea, Sam Baldock and Marc McNulty are in line for debuts.
Derby will monitor Tom Huddlestone, who is struggling with a groin injury, while Chris Martin (abdominal injury), George Thorne (back) and Nick Blackman (calf) are unlikely to play.
Matej Vydra, continuously linked with a move away from the Rams, will not play as he builds up his fitness. George Evans, Jack Marriott, Mason Mount and Harry Wilson will all be eyeing debuts.