Reading welcome West Brom to the Madejski Stadium this afternoon in one of four FA Cup fifth round ties between Premier League and Championship opposition this weekend.
The Royals; who currently sit 15th in the second-tier of English football, 11 points above the drop zone, have eased past Huddersfield Town (5-2) and Walsall (4-0) in the previous rounds.
Meanwhile the Baggies, who lie eight points above the top-flight’s bottom three in 14th spot, narrowly edged past Championship side Bristol City and League One outfit Peterborough United after being taken to replays in both the third and fourth round respectively.
But despite their unconvincing displays so far in this cup competition, Tony Pulis’ side are unbeaten in seven FA Cup fixtures against lower league opposition since their ironic defeat to Reading back in 2011.
However; in all competitions, West Brom haven’t won away at the Royals since January 1995 – drawing four and losing six since then – where they have since opened the Madejski Stadium back in 1998.
Striker Saido Berahino is a particular fan of the tournament, with the 22-year-old finding the back of the net eight times and assisting four further strikes in his last seven appearances.
The home side’s manager; Brian McDermott, will be encouraged by the fact that Reading have progressed in three of their four previous FA Cup ties with West Brom, including their last meeting in 2011 when Shane Long scored the only goal of the game shortly before half-time.
The hosts are also unbeaten in six games at the Madejski and haven’t conceded in three home games.
Reading boss McDermott will be without cup-tied striker Yann Kermorgant (Bournemouth) and midfielder George Evans (Manchester City), whilst both Matej Vydra and Danny Williams remain doubtful after missing their Championship clash against Burnley last weekend.
Opposing manager Pulis remains without midfielders James Morrison (Hamstring) and Callum McManaman (Ankle).
However winger Alex Pritchard is eligible to play after he was not registered in time for the game against Peterborough United in the previous round.
League Position: Reading – 15th (Championship – 37 pts) ; West Brom – 14th (Premier League – 32 pts)
Previous Meeting: Reading 3-2 West Brom (January 12, 2013)
Form: Reading – WDWLDD; West Brom – DDDLDW
Key Men: Reading – Matej Vydra; West Brom – Saido Berahino
Shoot Says: Reading 1-1 West Brom