For the second week running, the Royals are faced with a televised contest on a Friday evening, this time we're back where we belong, at home, as we prepare to welcome Mick McCarthy's Cardiff City to Madejski Stadium.
The Bluebirds, who sit just one place and seven points behind the Royals, will be keen to taste revenge for their early season defeat to Veljko Paunovic's side, after we ran out 2-1 winners in the Welsh capital back in late September.
Three points for the Royals would see them stretch their unbeaten run against Cardiff to 11 games, and their run without defeat at home to five matches. Victory on Friday night would also see us move back to within two points of the division's top six.
How to watch
Friday evening's meeting with the Bluebirds has been selected for live coverage by Sky Sports, which means on this occasion supporters will not be able to watch via iFollow.
If you’re not a Sky subscriber, you can get a Day Pass on NOW TV for 24 hours’ worth of access to all 11 Sky Sports channels.
Now almost 20 games into life as Cardiff boss, Mick McCarthy has helped steer the Bluebirds from the threats of a relegation battle, to within touching distance of the play-off places, following just three defeats in 17 games.
Their form in recent weeks has seen them fall slightly short in the hunt for promotion, with just one win in their last seven. However, the Bluebirds have proven themselves a top side on their day, having recently recorded wins over high-fliers Bournemouth and bitter rivals Swansea City.
Last time out, Cardiff played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Blackburn Rovers, during which midfielders Will Vaulks and Joe Ralls found the net. Their last win came back in March when they edged out the Swans thanks to an early Aden Flint goal that sealed a 1-0 victory at the Liberty Stadium.
One to watch: Harry Wilson
The Liverpool midfielder and current Welsh international is now in his fifth loan move away from Anfield, and it's one that has brought the Wrexham-born 24-year-old closer to home in Cardiff.
Wilson has proved a major assets to Championship clubs, in previous loan spells with Hull City, AFC Bournemouth and particularly Derby County, for whom he scored 15 goals in 40 appearances while under the guidance of former-Rams boss Frank Lampard during the 2018-19 campaign.
This year, Wilson, who's first taste of league football came back in 2015 with Crewe Alexandra, has netted four goals for the Bluebirds in 33 league appearances to date, coupled with a number of assists including two in his last outing, during which he set up both goals to seal a draw at home to Blackburn Rovers.
The former Liverpool Academy Player of the Year is a danger from set pieces, and has a reputation for converting from free-kicks. Despite still being young, Wilson has already represented his country on an impressive 24 occasions.
The Royals are currently unbeaten in their last 10 meetings with Cardiff, a run without defeat that stretches back to November 2015.
There's plenty of reason for optimism too, after we got the better of the Bluebirds earlier this season. Thanks to goals from Michael Morrison and Lucas Joao we advanced past Neil Harris's side to a 2-1 victory at the Cardiff City Stadium in late September.
Our last win over Cardiff at the Madejski came in August 2019, when George Puscas's double was coupled by a John Swift strike, sealing a 3-0 win over our Welsh visitors on home soil.
Reading have won 27 and drawn 23 of a total 73 clashes between the teams, dating back to our first meeting, a 3-0 Cardiff win all the way back in March 1927.
John Brooks will be the man in charge at the Madejski on Friday evening, as he prepapres to officiate his second Reading game of the season.
Brooks last took to the pitch for a Royals fixture back in early November, as he oversaw our 3-0 defeat to Preston North End.
Nick Greenhalgh and Akil Howson will be on site to assist Brooks in RG2, while Geoff Eltringham will be the fourth official on this occasion.
During his 27 outings to date, Brooks has brandished 90 yellow cards in addition to awarding seven red cards.
Notes from STAR
Supporters' Trust at Reading have put together their 'programme notes' ahead of the game, which you can access by clicking here.
A polite reminder to our supporters that no unauthorised access will be permitted to this game, so supporters must not travel to Madejski Stadium.
We can’t wait to see you all again soon – but for now it’s important that when we play, please stay away.