With a tough draw at Swansea City behind them, Everton turn their attention back to the Capital One Cup as they face Reading at Madejski Stadium. The last Capital One Cup match against Barsnley ended up being a bit too close for comfort as it took Everton 120 minutes to defeat the League One side. The last match was also in the midst of the John Stones transfer saga and the young defender looked unsettled throughout the match and was responsible for an incredibly questionable goal. In recent weeks Stones and his defensive partner, Phil Jagielka have looked stellar and hopefully those defensive miscues are behind them.
If Everton's line-up against Barnsley was any indication, Roberto Martinez is likely to go with a mix of starters, squad players and one or two younger players to fill out his side. However, with Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo back at full health, both players may receive a start, or significant playing time in order to give some of the regular starters a rest after playing on Saturday. This game represents a great opportunity to get Ramiro Funes Mori and especially Leandro Rodriguez some minutes and see what the players can contribute to the first team.
Reading are currently enjoying a solid start to their season as they sit in sixth place in the Championship. The Royals had a tough 2014-15 season and narrowly missed out on relegation to League One with a 19th place finish. But manager Steve Clarke will surely be looking to improve on that finish as he looks to lead his team back to the Premier League. Everton will have to keep their eyes out for striker Nick Blackman who is off to a blistering start to the season with six goals in all competitions. Defenders Paul McShane and Michael Hector have lead Reading's back line to a mere six goals allowed, good for second best in the Championship. Reading will definitely look to play the part of spoiler and take down a Premier League club and advance to the next round of the Capital One Cup.
Roberto Martinez has confirmed that Leandro Rodriguez is in the sqaud and could make his senior debut for the club. Darron Gibson was on the bench for the match against Swansea and may be in line to get some minutes this week. The Irish international was solid when healthy last season and could certainly add another attacking dynamic to the squad while giving one of Everton midfield players a rest. Bryan Ovideo is healthy again and would be a good pick to add some experience to the full back position, though Brendan Galloway's solid play may prevent the Costa Rican from seeing the field. Muhamed Besic and Seamus Coleman are likely to be back from injury, though Martinez may choose to rest Coleman in preparation for next Monday's match against West Brom.
Everton seem to be taking this competition more seriously than they have in the past, so expect to see a reasonably strong line-up. With that in mind, Everton should be favorites to win and move on to the next round. However, these competitions can be incredibly unpredictable and it is entirely possible that Reading could come out strong and put up some goals on Everton's defense.