A place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup is up for grabs as Championship duo Derby County and Reading meet at the iPro Stadium on Saturday.
The hosts will come into this as favourites, very much in the promotion race again after failing in the play-off final last season. They are currently third in the second tier having drawn with fellow contenders Bournemouth on Tuesday, and the additions of Darren Bent and Thomas Ince on loan have given them a significant boost in recent weeks.
Two wins over sides from lower divisions have ensured the Rams’ safe progress to round five, and they will be keen to match or even better their achievements in the Capital One Cup, where they reached the last eight by playing some fine incisive passing football under Steve McClaren.
Reading have found this season something of a struggle after missing out narrowly on the play-offs in 2014, but should have enough to avoid being involved in a serious battle to avoid relegation.
That said, manager Steve Clarke is still searching for consistency having seen his side win impressively away to Wolverhampton Wanderers and then lose at home to struggling Leeds United on Tuesday. The Scot has a promising young squad at his disposal, but lack a regular goalscorer.
Derby are without top scorer Chris Martin, but midfielder George Thorne could make his first appearance of the season after injury. The visitors have Danny Guthrie back following a groin problem.
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