The moment we have all been waiting for. An emotional day… so much has changed in the world since we last had fans at Madejski Stadium, back in March against Sheffield United.
It’s a different world that we live in – but our supporters’ return is a huge day for us! Even with a limited-capacity crowd, it’s still a momentous occasion for everyone.
It’s not just the world that has changed, but the Royals too. Veljko Paunović took charge in the summer, and we’ve enjoyed a really positive start in his first 15 league games at the helm.
And now our fans will be able to see his team in action this Saturday… we’re looking forward to seeing you.
Watch it live
If you aren’t among the fans making the way to the stadium this Saturday, you can still see the game live on Sky Sports Football.
We’re the TV pick for the 12.30pm kick-off, so tune in and follow the Royals.
If you’re not a Sky Sports subscriber, you can still catch the match by purchasing a Day Pass for NOW TV pass, giving you 24-hour access to all 11 Sky Sports channels.
Upon the return to Madejski Stadium, your safety is absolutely top of the list. We want three points, we want a good performance, but more than any of that we want to ensure that our fans are safe and secure when they return to RG2.
Click here to find out more about measures that have been put in place and how you can play a role in keeping your fellow supporters safe, too. And keep your eyes on @ReadingFC for more safety information as we build up to the match.
It’s been a tricky start to the new season for Forest. After missing out on the play-offs last season on the final day of the year, the hangover looked to be in full effect at the beginning of 2020-21 when they lost their first five games straight in all competitions – leading to the dismissal of Sabri Lamouchi.
In stepped Chris Hughton – and an instant impact, with a 1-0 win away at Blackburn on his first game in charge, thanks to a stoppage-time goal by Joe Lolley.
But since then, they have only followed up with two more wins – coming three days apart against newly-promoted pair Coventry and Wycombe last month. But a goalless draw against Watford last time out shows that the East Midlands club can frustrate even the most potent attacks.
Gavin Ward has been appointed as the referee; he was also in charge when we won 1-0 at home earlier in the campaign against Watford. His previous Royals game was last season when we won on penalties at Cardiff, in an entertaining encounter that had ended 3-3 after extra time.
For Forest, there are less positive connotations… he was the man in the middle when they slumped to a 4-1 home defeat on the final game of the 2019-20 season, causing them to miss out on the play-off places.
Assisting Mr Ward are linesmen Daniel Leach and Adam Crysell, and fourth official Tim Robinson.
STAR’s programme notes
Supporters’ Trust at Reading have prepared some notes in the absence of a physical programme – click here to read their column on the STAR website.