The Potters, languishing in mid-table after an inconsistent season, are without a victory in seven league games.
Back in the Championship in 2018, after a decade-long sojourn in the top-flight, they may have to wait a while longer for promotion.
On the other hand, a strong run in the league has Reading dreaming about a return to the Premier League. They were last in the English top-flight during the 2012-13 season.
The Royals are currently fourth in the second division with 14 wins from 26 games and 47 points accrued.
Unbeaten in six games, they are just eight points behind runaway leaders Norwich City with a game in hand.
Stoke City vs Reading Head-To-Head
In 53 meetings, the spoils are almost evenly shared with just two wins separating the sides overall. Stoke City are in the lead with 19 wins, but Reading will be hoping to close the gap, having beaten them 17 times before.
However, it's worth noting that Reading's last win against Stoke City came way back in April 2006. Meanwhile, they were hammered 3-0 at home in the first leg of their clash this season.
Stoke City Form Guide (all competitions): L-D-D-L-D
Reading Form Guide (all competitions): W-L-W-D-W
Stoke City vs Reading Team News
The hosts do not have any fresh injury concerns. However, Ryan Shawcross is recovering from COVID-19 and will remain in isolation.
George Puscas underwent surgery last month and won't return to the fold until the start of March.
Otherwise, Veljko Paunovic has a clean bill of health going into the match and no concerns regarding suspensions.
Injured: George Puscas
Stoke City vs Reading Predicted XI
Stoke City (4-3-3): Josef Bursik; Nathan Collins, Harry Souttar, James Chester, Rhys Norrington-Davies; Joe Allen, John Obi Mikel, Sam Clucas; Jack Clarke, Nick Powell, James McClean.
Reading (4-2-3-1): Rafael Cabral; Thomas Holmes, Michael Morrison, Tom McIntyre, Omar Richards; Andy Rinomhota, Josh Laurent; Michael Olise, John Swift, Ovie Ejaria; Lucas Joao.
Stoke City vs Reading Prediction
Reading haven't beaten Stoke in eight games and now seems to be the most optimal time to end that run.
They're in much better form right now and should narrowly defeat the Potters.
Prediction: Stoke City 1-2 Reading