West Ham United continue their preparations for the new Premier League campaign with a trip to Championship outfit Reading on Wednesday.
The Hammers are unbeaten in their three pre-season fixtures so far, while the Royals won their sole friendly to date against Lincoln City
.West Ham’s points tally of 65 in the Premier League last season was a club record, as they finished sixth and qualified for the Europa League for the first time in five years.
Since then, it has been a fairly quiet summer in East London as they gear up for their travels around the continent and their league opener away to Newcastle United on August 15.
David Moyes’s only first team signing so far has been Craig Dawson, who spent last season on loan at the London Stadium.
After beginning their pre-season with a 2-2 draw against Dundee, West Ham played two games at the same time last Tuesday night – splitting their squad for fixtures against Northampton Town and Leyton Orient.
While one Hammers side that included Mark Noble and Michail Antonio played out a goalless draw with the O’s, a Conor Coventry strike and an own goal helped another XI beat the Cobblers 2-1.
After travelling to the newly-named Select Car Leasing Stadium, Moyes’s men will complete their pre-season schedule with fixtures against Celtic, Brentford and Atalanta.
Reading are unlikely to provide as stern a test as those three sides, but the Royals should be raring to go in front of their first home crowd since December.
Moreover, after their friendly against Aberdeen on Friday was cancelled due to three positive Covid-19 tests, they will be eager to be back in action.
It means that their only pre-season game so far was a 1-0 win over League One side Lincoln City, secured through a neat finish from 19-year-old Tyrell Ashcroft.
There should be a heavy youth presence in this game too, as Reading have a very thin senior squad and are yet to make any summer signings. An EFL embargo means they can only bring in free agents and loan players.
The Royals finished seventh in the Championship last season after spending most of the campaign in the playoff positions, and they are unbeaten in their last seven matches at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
Veljko Paunovic is keen to test his team before their Championship opener at Stoke City on August 7, as West Ham are the first of two Premier League teams they will face in pre-season; Crystal Palace is set to visit Berkshire at the end of the month after League One Charlton Athletic face the Royals.
Reading Pre-Season Friendlies form:
West Ham United Pre-Season Friendlies form: