READING FC are back in cup action on Tuesday night when they host Arsenal U21s in the EFL Trophy.
Despite what has been a miserable season for Ruben Selles’ men in League One, where they currently sit bottom of the table and 10 points adrift of safety, they have managed to put up their most impressive performances in cup competitions.
Reading looked to be on the verge of breaking a one-year winless run away from home in the league at the weekend before they suffered an almighty collapse.
Reading were in front with 90 minutes on the clock, but two stoppage time goals from Shrewsbury Town left the Royals still waiting for a win on the road and have yet to collect an away point this season.
With off-field pressures and concerns continuing to wreak havoc on the football club, it appears to have also taken a huge toll on the playing staff and management who are in a slump at the foot of the table.
Despite the competition being someway down their list of priorities at this stage of the season, Reading have already secured their place in the knockout round of the EFL Trophy.
Reading opened their account in the competition with an exceptional 9-0 away win at Exeter City and followed that up by thrashing rivals Swindon Town 5-0.
The Gunners have also plotted their route into the next round prior to their meeting with the Royals.
They also managed to earn a substantial win at Exeter, putting five past the League One side without reply which came after they had drawn their opening group game 2-2 with Swindon Town, but took the extra two points with a 5-4 penalty shootout win.
Arsenal U21s manager, Mehmet Ali, was previously U21s coach with Reading until he made the move to north London in 2022 to become U32s assistant manager before being promoted as manager in 2022.
Ali’s side are currently in third position in the Premier League 2 table with five wins, two draws and one loss from their opening eight league matches.
Reading’s U21s side, managed by Noel Hunt, sit not too far behind them in seventh on 16 points.
Predicted Reading line-up: Pereira, Carson, Abbey, Bindon, Holmes, Savage, Craig, Rushesha, Vickers. Ballard, Ehibhatiomhan