A look ahead to Sunday's pre-season friendly
Bristol Rovers welcome Reading to the Memorial Stadium on Sunday in their final pre-season friendly before the start of the new season.
Here is everything you need to know about the game:
Reading are one of the hot favourites to win promotion to the Premier League after they were relegated from the top flight last season.
With former Southampton boss Nigel Adkins at the helm, The Royals have a man with experience of winning his team promotion to the Barclays Premier League and they will be a huge threat to any team next season.
Reading have made some great signings in this transfer window, with former England and Chelsea defender Wayne Bridge putting pen to paper and former Real Madrid and Everton midfielder Royston Drenthe completing his move to Nigel Adkins’ side.
Adding to a squad that consists of players such as Danny Guthrie, Adam Le Fondre, Jason Roberts and Pavel Pogrebnyak, Reading have an extremely experienced squad with depth and quality in every position.
The Home Side
Rovers have been hit with many injuries so far this year, which means the door is open for younger players to impress against a quality Reading side on Sunday.
With new signing John Joe O’Toole set to make his debut as an official Bristol Rovers player, the Pirates are relishing the challenge against the higher opposition with the former Colchester midfielder bringing his class and experience to the side.
With Rovers drawing Championship side Watford in the Capital One Cup, playing Reading will be the ideal preparation for not only the league, but also for the Cup as Watford will offer a similar challenge on August 6th.
Assistant Manager Darrell Clarke has said that these are the types of games the players should want to be a part of: “: “It’ll be difficult, Nigel Adkins will have them playing good football and I think they’ll be there at the top of the Championship this year.
“It’s going to be another difficult test but playing against better players, two leagues above yourself, are the games you want to play in as a player so it will be the perfect game to prepare for the start of the new season.”
Players to Watch
The former Real Madrid and Everton midfielder was tipped to be the next best thing after he won the U21 Championships with the Netherlands in 2007 at the age of 21.
At the Spanish side he never fully lived up to his potential and was loaned out to Everton in 2011/12 season, before moving to Russian side Alania Vladikavkaz last year.
Drenthe has been known for the wrong reasons off the field, but he has claimed he has turned his life around and is ready to take Reading back to the top.
The former Chelsea left back has bags of experience in the Championship after playing for Brighton on loan last season.
Bridge, who was included in two World Cup Squads, signed a one-year-deal with the Royals from Man City and has said he is “delighted” to be playing for Reading.
Bridge is one of the most experienced players in the world of football and he is sure to be one of the key figures in securing Reading promotion.
Terrace and South Stand – adults £10 and concessions £5.
Two main stands – adults £14 and concessions £7.
Head to Head
Rovers have beaten Reading 20 times at home over the years, with 11 losses and 13 draws scoring 73 goals.
The last meeting saw Reading topple Rovers 2-1 in 2011 in a friendly and Reading came out as 1-0 victors when the sides last me in a competitive competition 12 years ago.
Reading went down 1-0 to Bristol City on Wednesday and play Swansea on Saturday, and Rovers will want to be at their best in the last pre-season game before the season begins a week on Saturday.