Liverpool, who have lost only twice on the road since the turn of year, will travel to Reading knowing their sixth away win of the season will push their hosts closer to the Premier League trap door.
Their manager Brendan Rodgers has stood firm over claims from former Reds’ boss, Rafa Benitez, that he will return to Merseyside one day.
Reading, who are without a point under new manager Nigel Adkins, have not won at home since the first week of February, a run which has seen them rooted to the foot of the table, eight points from safety with a significantly inferior goal difference.
This fixture, historically, has not been a happy one for the Royals, who have only beaten Saturday’s opponents once on home soil in their history, a victory which came in their debut season in the Premier League. They did, however, get the better of Liverpool in the FA Cup in 2010, but only three of Reading’s current first team – Adam Federici, Jem Karacan and captain Jobi Mcanuff – started at Anfield that day.
What might give Royals fans some hope is the knowledge that after that victory, their side – who were struggling in the Championship at the time - won four of their next six games on their way to securing their league status. Nigel Adkins, who has refused to give up on survival, will need a similar run of results, starting on Saturday.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Liverpool 1 (Sterling) Reading 0, Premier League, October 2012
Liverpool 1 (Bertrand OG) Reading 2 (Sigurdsson (pen), Long), FA Cup, January 2010 (AET)
Reading 1 (Church) Liverpool 1 (Gerrard), FA Cup, January 2010
Liverpool have recorded 549 shots in this year’s Premier League. Only Spurs (526) come close to Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Reading have won just four home games all season, only QPR (on two) have won fewer.
Only Manchester United (on 31) have scored more goals on the road this season than Liverpool. The Reds have amassed 29 in their 12 trips on the road.
Recent fixtures between these two sides have been very close, with only a single goal separating the sides in three of their last four meetings. The other ended in a draw.
Reading have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their nine previous meetings. In that time they have shipped 18 goals, scoring only 13.
Reading to win: 7.6
Arsenal to win: 1.5
Reading 2 (Convey, Halls) Liverpool 4 (Benayoun, Torres x3), League Cup, September 2008
After twice coming from behind to level the game, Reading were undone at home as Fernando Torres scored a magnificent hat-trick in just over half an hour to send his side through.
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.20pm.