Reading will be looking to secure a vital three points in The Championship as they take on Nottingham Forest at The Madejski Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Royals suffered yet another defeat on Saturday afternoon as they lost 2-0 to Middlesbrough at The Madejski. It was a poor, toothless performance and one that has put huge pressure onto manager Jaap Stam.
As for Forest, their form has started to pick up as they claimed a huge three points in a 3-2 victory against Hull City at The KCOM Stadium. The Reds will be looking to pick up another win on their travels in this one.
How they've fared so far
It has without doubt been a very poor start to the season for Reading. Stam has come under significant pressure from the club's supporters in recent weeks due to their poor start to the campaign. The Royals have now lost four of their last five league games which has left them only two points above the relegation zone.
This is simply not good enough for a side that was expected to challenge for automatic promotion before the season kicked off, or finish in the play-offs at the very least.
The expectation at the club certainly increased following the success of last season which has not worked in Stam's favour. The Royals finished third in the league and lost out in the Play-Off Final to Huddersfield Town at Wembley on penalties.
David Wagner's side have since gone onto flourish in the Premier League whilst Reading have been left languishing in the lower reaches of the second tier. This contrast just goes to show how important it is to achieve promotion when you do have a good season.
There has been a huge amount of speculation in the aftermath to the defeat to Boro at the weekend that Stam may be on the brink of resigning from his position. This highlights the pressure he is currently under and if they were to lose to Forest on Tuesday night, it could signal the end of his time at the club.
It is difficult to see what the difference is between this season and the last but he seems to be starting to lose the backing of the squad.
As for Forest, they seem to have turned a corner in recent weeks. They have now won three of their last four Championship games which has moved them up to within one point of the play-offs. The defence has started to look a lot more solid and this is the key reason why Forest did not pick up as many points as they deserved in the early stages of the campaign.
Everton loanee Kieran Dowell scored a hat-trick against Hull on Saturday and will be looking to add to his tally in this one. Mark Warburton has the likes of Barrie McKay, Jason Cummings and Ben Osborn at his disposal who are all also very talented attacking players and make Forest a real threat, especially away from home on the counter. They will fancy their chances of securing another three points in this one.
Last time they met
Reading last played Forest in The Championship in a 3-2 defeat at The City Ground in April. The home side went three goals in front courtesy of a double from Britt Assombalonga and an impressive goal from Mustapha Carayol.
However, the away side set up a frantic last 15 minutes as a Yann Kermorgant double got them right back into the match. It was a huge three points for Warburton's side in their battle against relegation.
However, Reading were able to secure all three points when they last played Forest at The Madejski. Former Forest players Garath McCleary and Chris Gunter both found the back of the net in a comfortable 2-0 win for the home side.
Reading defender Tiago Ilori will be unavailable for selection after he went off through injury in the first-half against Boro following a collision with team-mate Liam Moore. However, apart from that, Stam has no fresh injury concerns to contend with ahead of this crucial match.
As for Forest, striker Daryl Murphy could be back and available after he missed the Hull game through injury. Left-back Armand Traore could also return into contention but Danny Fox will again miss out. Chris Cohen is said to be making good progress on his recovery but will still be out for a while.