On Saturday Reading look to bounce back from two straight defeats to consolidate their lead at the summit of the Championship table against Stoke City.

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports Main Event.

Below we look at what you should know about Potters ahead of the fixture.

Recent Background

The former Premier League regulars dropped down to the Championship in 2018.

The side were expected to bounce straight back to the top flight but have finished 16th and 15th.

FA Cup finalists in 2011, the club have struggled to find an identity since their successful spell under former Wales forward Mark Hughes.

Since 2018 the club have gone through three previous managers, but have been stabilised by former Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neil.

The side currently sit 11th and look to move up the table, however have failed to win successive games this season.

Key Players

A strong squad on paper, the team have regularly failed to deliver results and performances they are capable of.

The preferred formation, according to WhoScored, is 3-4-3, although when defending it becomes a 5-3-2.

In goal they have Wales international Adam Davies following the departure of former England international Jack Butland.

A back three of Nathan Collins, Harry Souttar and James Chester is a blend of experience and youth with wide-men Tommy Smith and Josh Tymon offering defensive support when required.

Champions League winner John Obi Mikel operates in midfield with Jordan Thompson whilst Nick Powell can also fill in if the midfield needs support.

Strikers Tyrese Campbell and Steven Fletcher is another pairing of youth and experience, with the two having contributing five goals and five assists between them.

With the likes of Sam Vokes, James McClean and Lee Gregory in the squad too, this squad has massively underachieved since returning to the Championship.


The sides have met 52 times overall, with the first meeting being a 2-2 draw in 1913.

Incredibly the last four meetings between the two sides have all been draws, with Reading not beating the side visitors in over a decade.

The last Royals win against the side from the Potteries was a 3-1 win in April 2006, once Reading had already been confirmed champions of the Championship on route to 106 points.

The last meeting was a 1-1 draw at the Madejski in the first game back after the Covid-19 restart in June.

Lucas Joao opened the scoring but Powell equalised in the last minute of stoppage time at the end of the game.

Overall Reading have won 17 times, drawn 17 and lost 18 to Stoke.


According to Sky Bet, Reading are 9/5 for the win, a draw is 21/10 and a Stoke win at 13/8.