Derby County host Reading in the Sky Bet Championship for the first time since their dramatic final day meeting last season.Fifteen points separate the pair going into Matchday 26, but it’s the visiting Royals who come into the fixture on the back of a win.
They beat Bristol City 1-0 late on last time out, while Derby suffered a 2-0 defeat to table-toppers Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, meaning they sit four points from the summit.
Rams raided on pulsating final day
Rewind to this fixture last May, and it doesn’t make for good memories for all associated with Derby.
It was the final day of the 2014/15 Sky Bet Championship campaign, and the Rams had a two-point cushion over Brentford in the final Play-Off position. Due to a significant goal difference in their favour, a point would have secured them a spot in the end-of-season showdown.
But Reading had other ideas, and stormed to a 3-0 victory. A goal inside two minutes from Kwesi Appiah lit the blue touch paper, and Michael Hector and Garath McCleary added strikes as Darren Bent also missed a penalty.
With Brentford also beating Wigan Athletic 3-0 at Griffin Park, it meant the Play-Off dream came to an abrupt end for Derby.
Five in a row?
Derby have gone some way to settling the score since May, beating Reading 1-0 courtesy of Tom Ince’s winner back in September.
That made it four successive away wins in this fixture, after Reading recorded two victories in all competitions at the iPro last term, and Derby prevailed 3-0 at the Madejski Stadium.
In fact, only once in the last nine games has the home side taken the spoils.
Friends and foes
Nick Blackman could make his Sky Bet Championship debut for Derby on Tuesday against former employers Reading, just six days after joining from the Royals.
The 26-year-old has scored 13 goals in the colours of Reading this season, and made the switch last Wednesday after three years with the Berkshire club.
He adds to Paul Clement's attacking artillery, with the club strengthening yet again in their bid for automatic promotion.
Follow Derby’s clash with Reading, and all of Tuesday’s other Sky Bet Championship games, on our divisional Twitter feed - @SkyBetChamp.