Newly promoted Reading will travel to Stamford Bridge to take on European champions Chelsea in the two clubs' second league game of the new season, hoping to register the first major shock of the season.



Roberto Di Matteo's men clinched a slightly nervous 2-0 win on opening day, against Wigan Athletic. The Blues got off to a fabulous start, with new boy Eden Hazard involved in the two early strikes - converted by Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic and veteran midfielder Frank Lampard - and although the £32m Belgian faded away a little after that there was enough evidence to suggest Chelsea had paid for a world-class player.

"He left his mark on the game. In pre-season, he showed that kind of quality in training. Now, in the Premier League, hopefully there's more to come from him," Di Matteo said after the game.

However, this was only the first game of what is set to be a very long season and the win came with enough to suggest there is much more to come from this revamped Chelsea squad, their poor pre-season and Community Shield disappointment notwithstanding.


Meanwhile, the Blues' visitors got their Premier League campaign off to a less than encouraging start, drawing 1-1 at home against a determined Stoke City. They were a little fortunate to secure the draw - the equaliser came via a penalty late in the second half. Brian McDermott will look to former Fulham striker Pavel Pogrebnyak and Jason Roberts, once of West Brom and Portsmouth, to ask questions of their hosts. Roberts has six goals in 17 games since signing in January while Pogrebnyak, who was signed on a free earlier this summer, enjoyed a strong time at Craven Cottage last season, netting six times in 12 appearances.

The Royals can boast of at least one link with Chelsea - both clubs are now owned by Russians - Reading by Anton Zingarevich and Chelsea, of course, by Roman Abramovich. There will almost certainly be comparisons to each other, particularly since success, for either club, came only after the investment of relatively considerable funds.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge and I am sure all the other boys will be. I've played against [Fernando] Torres before in a cup game and he scored a hat-trick, it will be a good test for us. The boys worked extremely hard against Stoke, they are a big strong team and we matched them in every department. We got the deserved point and looking back we were a bit unlucky not to get all three," the BBC quoted Reading goal keeper Adam Federici as saying.

Team News and Tactics:

The hosts still cannot call on new signing Marko Marin; the German international is still recovering from a hamstring injury. However, Brazilian midfielder Ramires, who missed the Wigan game because of a minor illness, could be available providing he passes a late fitness test. Apart from these two, the Blues have no other major injury concerns.

Yet another of the club's new signings - Brazilian midfielder Oscar - could be set for his first start, after featuring from the substitutes' bench at the DW Stadium. However, Di Matteo has admitted the youngster will take time to adapt to life at Stamford Bridge.

"He's not been long with us, so we need to give him the right time to get him used to the team, and our tactics, and slowly put him into the team," the BBC quoted Di Matteo as saying.

Reading, meanwhile, will be without midfielder Jem Karacan, who is still recovering from a leg injury, while winger Jimmy Kebe has also been sidelined. Roberts is suspended for this game. All of this means new signings like Pogrebnyak (from Fulham), midfielder Danny Guthrie (from Newcastle), winger Garath McCleary (from Nottingham Forest), defender Chris Gunter (from Nottingham Forest) and left back Nicky Shorey (from West Bromwich Albion) could be set to make their league debuts.

Probable Line-ups:

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry, Cole; Lampard, Mikel; Ramires, Mata, Hazard; Torres

Reading (4-4-1-1): Federici; Gunter, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte; McCleary, Guthrie, Leigertwood, McAnuff; Robson-Kanu; Le Fondre

Where to Watch Live (all times BST):

You can catch the game via live commentary on ESPN Soccernet and Chelsea TV, starting from 7.45 pm. The game will be re-broadcast on 23 August, on Chelsea TV, at 8 pm.