Er…. Well, the back four picks itself but there are questions everywhere else on the pitch starting in goal.

This is probably the first time since we’ve been doing this that there has been a keeper choice. The Friedel / Lloris debate has largely dominated the headlines pertaining to the club but few of us would be surprised to see Brad between the posts on Sunday.

In front of the back four, the real questions begin with AVB looking to choose from around seven names for, at best, five available places.

The only player who seems certain of a place is Bale on the left so that leaves Livermore, Sandro, Sigurdsson, Dembele, Lennon and Dempsey and anyone I may have forgotten. Will Villas-Boas look to accommodate the former Fulham men or will one, or both, start from the bench?

Up front, it’s been reported that the club has been working on Adebayor’s fitness since he arrived and it seems likely that he will resume his role as the club’s lone striker.

If AVB persists with 4-2-3-1 then here’s what we think but at this stage of the season there’s a big element of guesswork – what’s your view?



  1. Now it could be a very wild statement, but what if Dembele drops in for Livermore and Dempsey comes in behind Ade? in which case perhaps a stronger Siggy could be prefered to Lennon to provide some extra strength when defending.. either way the squad looks great at the moment. 3 points please!

  2. As a Royals Fan – I will be happy not to face the Sig! If utilised correctly he can be unplayable with his late runs and ability to shoot from practically anywhere. So fine by me if he comes on to a rousing reception in the final minute when you are 2 down.

  3. gallas, livermore and lennon should not even get close to the 11. you wouldnt see any top side playing 2 DM vs reading so why do we.

  4. Thats the team he prob will start with .my team: lloris,walker,vertinghan.Dawson.bae,seggurson.demeble.sandro.bale.dempsey.addy up front start all the new boys let them gel.

  5. I would opt for 4-4-2 with defoe or adebayor dropping off one another throughout.. until dempsey gets a bit more fitness before diverting back. I would also bring Caulker in for Gallas.


    Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, BAE

    Lennon, Dembele, Sandro, Bale

    Defoe, Adebayor

  6. I would say that most of the back 4 picks itself, but one of the centre back slots is still up for grabs between Gallas, Caulker and Dawson, depending on how they’ve done in training. Dembele I feel should also play deeper; we need more creativity than the last games:

    Walker – Caulker – Vertoghen – BAE
    Sandro – Dembele
    Lennon – Sigurdsson – Bale

    Unless he’s playing a blinder, sub Lennon for Dempsey at the hour mark.

  7. Can’t see him starting Livermore as him and Sandro form about an effective partnership as Lampard and Gerrard. Would like Caulker to have a go, but would imagine he’ll start with the regular back 4. Friedel to start after the Norwich performance.

    BAE Gallas Vert Walker
    Sandro Dembele
    Lennon Sigi or Dempsey Bale

  8. I don’t understand why you’d say the back 4 pick themselves when you have Caulker on the fringe of starting.I think there could be a slight change in the CB position.

    I completely disagree that Sandro and Livermore are going to start as 2 holding midfielders….If anything he’s learnt from that mistake.

    If I was to pick the team, 4-5-1 seems like the only viable option, for me anyway.


    Walker Caulker Vertonghen Assou

    Lennon(Wing) Sandro Bale(Wing)

    Dempsey(CAM) Dembele(CAM)


    I see goals coming from this!

  9. Friedel

    Desperately need creativity & a fulcrum in the middle of the park. Wish we didn’t let VDV go but in AVB I trust!!! I’m not sure about both Sandro & Livermore together yet although I would understand the pairing this week as we’re away from home. With both Dembele & Siggy in the middle that offers us both creativity & players who can track back to tackle etc when needed! Lloris will probably get his start in our next home game. COYS!!!

  10. Those who suggest Lennon should not play might reconsider if they realise that Reading at left back play 35 year old Ian Harte – a guy who is mainly still playing due his dead ball skills….

  11. Friedel/Loris

    Walker Gallas Vert BAE

    Sandro Sigurdson


    Lennon Bale


    Lennon for Dempsey – Dempsey in the hole, Dembele drop into 2 with Sandro and Siggy out wide.

  12. I kinda agree with Dyl with Dempsey also potentially being employed just behind Ade (or as a replacement for him or Lennon) if we’re chasing goals but I don’t think we should start with him.

  13. Sigurdsson has to play, he knows the Reading team well and is familiar with the stadium plus he will want to prove a point.

    Please no Livermore, Defoe or Lennon, all 3 are either not good enough or crap away from home.

    Walker Verts Gallas BAE
    Dembele Sandro
    Dempsey Sig Bale

    Any of those fron 4 could score

    Also Dembele has started to excel whilst playing in CM, playing him in AM just reduces the impact he will have……although thats exactly where I expect AVB to play him, right next to Lennon, Defoe, Livermore and Gallas

  14. ……………..lloris………..
    Walker. Caulker. Vert. Bae.

    …lennon and defoe impact subs…

  15. Friedel or Lloris as both good keepers

    Walker Dawson Vert Ekt

    Sandro Dembele

    Siggy Dempsey Bale




  16. Back four picks itself? Gallas was awful at points. I think for AVB’s system, this is our best XI:

    Walker Caulker/Kaboul (when healthy) Vert BAE
    Sandro Dembele
    Deuce Gylfi Bale

  17. Lloris

    Walker vertonghen caulker BAE

    sandro Dembele

    Lennon Siggie Bale


    subs Dempsey for lennon defoe for Ade livermore for sandro

  18. OK i’m not going to even humour your choice of Gallas as it’s just not funny. But Livermore? Seriously!? This is Reading. OK they have decent home form and we are nervously looking for the 1st win of the season but do we really need to play 2 DM’s against a newly promoted side? No other top team would. Livermore only has two passes in his armoury – sideways or backwards. Play like that is why we keep conceding late goals to lesser sides. We have to go for the jugular and let loose here. Defoe is in good form and has to start with deuce coming on for him or lennon around the 65 mark if we struggling.

  19. 442 friedel , walker , vertoghen , dawson/caulker , Bae , sandro , dembele , lennon , bale , dempsey , adebayor. . subs. defoe siggie , dawson/caulker / / I still feel we a bit thin @ the back with younnes & scott injured,but what read about our youngsters against Barca i’m upbeat for the future.AVB MUST JST GET THE COMBINATIONS RIGHT.

  20. BAE has to b dropped imo he’s been asleep for first 3 games & is there’s not enough pressure on him for his position, I’d drop him for reading game it might give him kick up backside he needs. Id like to see how caulker would do at lb but probably better to wait for LG cup game to try him there, he has played at rb b4 at underage & once for swansea, if Smalling, Jones & the like can play there I see no reason caulker couldn’t, sol Campbell broke into our side at lb b4 getting in at cb & Ledley played at rb/cm b4 moving to cb, is see caulker in the same mould to good not to b playing.
    For reading though I’d go 442 all out for the win
    Friedal, walker caulker verthongen bale, Sigg sandro dembele dempsey, Defoe ADE,
    Subs lloris, gallas, Dawson, hudd, lennon, naughton,livermore

  21. totally agree with yido , livermore shit gallas ok as backup dawson slow caulker should be used lennon on bench with defoe or go for something crazy like
    caulker vertonghen
    walker sandro bale
    lennon dembele dempsey siggs

    subs = bae defoe lloris gallas huddlestone naughton