Brighton and Hove Albion head to the Majedski stadium this Saturday afternoon in the hope of taking their unbeaten start to the season to a 14th game.
The Seagulls are perched in first place, while Reading have slipped down the table and now find themselves in seventh.
A fortnight ago, the Royals won four games on the trot and were in second place in the league.
One point from two games since has left the Reading side sitting outside of the playoff zone altogether.
Making matters worse for Steve Clarke and his men is the news that key midfielder Aaron Tshibola has been ruled out for three months, while Chelsea loanee Lucas Piazon is now the subject of an arrest warrant, over allegations the Brazilian sexually assaulted a woman during the summer.
Conceding four second half goals at Fulham does not suggest good form running into this game, but prior to their two-match winless run, Reading could have been favourites for this game. At their best this season, only Derby could beat the Royals, who are themselves among the favourites for the title.
Striker Nick Blackman will hope to continue his impressive form with 10 goals in his last 11 outings.
Brighton and Hove Albion
Despite being placed for automatic promotion, Brighton have been held by a number of bottom-half sides over the past month, including draws against Wolves, Bolton and Preston.
Despite this, the Seagulls sit 4 points clear at the top which can largely be attributed to their 6 wins in the opening 7 games, as last season’s disappointment was quickly cast aside.
Chris Hughton’s side still boast the joint-third best defence in the league this far, conceding just 10 goals in all.
The injury to Gaeten Bong, who will miss the remainder of the year due a thigh injury, is a big blow to Brighton.
Skipper Gordan Greer and midfielder Dale Stephens are also doubts for the trip to Reading, while LuaLua’s return will be delayed another fixture.
Beram Kayal will return after serving his one-match suspension.
Reading have lost key players long-term in Piazon and Tshibola, but the Berkshire based side will welcome back to the match-day squad Anton Ferdinand, Jonathon Bond and Matej Vydra.
1-2 Brighton are top of the league for a reason. Close game.