Reading make the long journey to Wearside on Saturday, facing play-off chasing Sunderland.

More than 40,000 regularly attend Black Cats matches at the Stadium of Light, with a real feel-good factor around the club after their League One promotion last season.

It has been six years since the Royals last travelled to that part of the North-East, beating Chris Coleman's side 3-1 in December 2017.

The win pushed Jaap Stam's side into 14th, less than seven months after their heartbreaking play-off final defeat after finishing third in 2016/17.

Ultimately it would be one to forget, finishing 20th in the Championship.

But, where are they now?

Vito Mannone- Lorient

A summer recruit, ironcally from Sunderland, the Arsenal youth goalkeeper had played over 70 times for the Black Cats in a four-year spell, even appearing in the 2014 League Cup final.

Moving to Berkshire in 2017, for a reported £2m, he was first choice for his debut campaign before being dropped the following year after six appearances.

Spending the last years of his three-year deal on loan in America and Denmark, he moved to Ligue 1 side Monaco in 2020.

A bit-part player for the former French champions, he moved to Lorient in 2022.

Reading Chronicle:

Chris Gunter

One of the longest-serving players of the 21st century, Gunter arrived from Nottingham Forest in 2012 and stayed for over eight years, leaving having played over 300 times for the club.

2017/18 would single the last of two successive seasons in which the right-back appeared in every league match of the campaign, playing an incredible 156 times from 2015 until 2018.

Becoming more of a rotation player in the final two seasons, appearing only 45 times combined, he dropped into League One in 2020 with Charlton Athletic.

After over 50 appearances for the Addicks, he joined former teammate Alex Pearce in joining AFC Wimbledon ahead of this season.

Paul McShane

Club captain for a lot of his four-year stay in Berkshire, the Republic of Ireland international dipped in and out in 2017/18, playing 27 times.

It would mark the beginning of the end, with the central defender playing just five times the following season and being released, joining Rochdale for two seasons.

Now back where it all started, the tough-tackling centre-half is part of the youth set-up at Manchester United.

Reading Chronicle:

Liam Moore

The only player involved in 2017 that is still contracted with Reading, Moore was a key component of the squad since his arrival in 2016.

He has made almost 250 club appearances in those six years, as well as having a spell out on loan with Stoke City, but has become a controversial figure in Berkshire these days.

Stripped of the captaincy under previous manager Veljko Paunovic, a long-term injury has ruled him out of contention for over 12 months, although Paul Ince believes he will be able to feature later this season.

Reading Chronicle:

Leandro Bacuna

Playing at the SCL Stadium as recently as last week, the Curacao international arrived from Aston Villa in the summer of 2017 after a stint with Aston Villa.

A hot-headed midfielder, who on occasion filled in at full-back, he had an eye for a stunning goal but was never too far away from a lunging tackle.

A regular in his 18-month stint, Cardiff City paid a reported £3m to take him in January 2019, not even halfway through his four-year deal.

Over 100 appearances for the Bluebirds, some in the Premier League, and a recent move to Watford has seen the 31-year-old become a household name in the Championship.

Joey van den Berg

A cult-favourite with the fans, the Dutchman arrived in the summer of 2016 and appeared 34 times as the Royals ended one penalty kick away from the Premier League.

Featuring more often in Championship action the following campaign, van den Berg was never too far from the referees book, but popped up with the occasional stunner or scintillating pass.

Leaving with 68 appearances to his name, the 36-year-old last played professionally in 2020.

Reading Chronicle:

David Edwards

A Wolves stalwart with over 300 appearances to his name, ‘Dangerous Dave’ arrived on a free transfer in summer 2017 to add some goal scoring threat to the midfield.

He did score at the Stadium of Light in the 3-1 win, but he only scored twice more in his only season with the first team.

Leaving with 32 appearances, he moved back to his hometown team Shrewsbury in January 2019, staying for two-and-a-half years and adding another 79 appearances to the 137 he made from 2002 until 2007.

Reading Chronicle:

Sone Aluko

In the summer of 2017, the club smashed their club-record to spend a rumoured £7m on the former Fulham and Hull City midfielder.

Just six goals in 102 appearances later and it goes down as one of the most disappointing spells for someone so highly thought of.

Still playing at a high level, the 33-year-old is a regular with League One high-fliers Ipswich Town.

Reading Chronicle:

Liam Kelly

An incredibly talented youth star, the midfielder broke through under Jaap Stam the season before, netting his penalty in the play-off final shootout, and became a regular over the next 18 months.

Leaving the club, after 94 appearances, in summer 2019- he followed Stam to Dutch giants Feyenoord.

Not working out in Holland, the 27-year-old returned to English football with Oxford United, before stepping down to League Two with Rochdale.

Mo Barrow

One of the quickest players to wear the hooped shirt, Reading signed the Gambian from Swansea City in 2017.

Scoring a highly-respectable 10 in his first season, he got only four the following year- however his last-minute winner against bottom club Ipswich Town sealed a vital win in the fight for Championship survival.

Being loaned out to Turkey in his final contracted season, he is now in Saudi Arabia after a successful three year spell in South Korea.

Yann Kermorgant

A legend around these parts, he scored 24 goals in 92 appearances after joining from Bournemouth aged 35.

Netting an incredible 19 goals on route to the 2017 play-off final, 2017/18 was an injury-hit campaign where he hit just two.

Moving back to France in 2018, he retired in 2020.

Reading Chronicle:

Used substitutes:

Roy Beerens

Similar to van den Berg, Stam brought his compatriot over in the summer of 2016.

A regular for his debut campaign, he scored seven goals in 43 appearances. Scoring just twice in 20 appearances during his final season, he moved back home and played another 40 times for Vitesse from 2018 until 2020.

Pelle Clement

A young prodigy signed in 2016, the Dutchman failed to make an impact in his two-year stint, not scoring in 29 appearances.

Spending the last four years in his homeland, he plays for Waalwijk in the Eredivisie.

Jon-Dadi Bodvarsson

Signed from Wolves in 2017, the Icelander scored 10 on his debut season, but only hit seven league goals the following campaign.

Memorably grabbing a hattrick over Stevenage in the FA Cup, he joined Millwall in 2019 after 17 goals in 56 matches for the club.

A Lion for three years, he only managed seven goals in 76 appearances, but has already notched 14 in 18-months for League One Bolton Wanderers