Reading will attempt to bring its five-match losing skid to an end on Monday when it hosts Arsenal inside Madejski Stadium in Berkshire, England.
The Royals have been outscored 12-5 over their last five Premier League matches, and find themselves in real danger of being relegated at the end of the season. Meanwhile, the Gunners have been inconsistent to say the least, and continue to fall farther behind in the league table.
With plenty on the line for both sides, here we get you set with everything you need to know for Monday's Premier League clash.
Where: Madejski Stadium, England
When: Monday, December 17 at 3:00 p.m. ET
Live Streaming: ESPN3.com
What's At Stake?
Reading badly need a win on Monday. Brian McDermott's club is in serious danger of finishing at the bottom of the Premier League table this season and ultimately being relegated at season's end. The Royals have lost their last five EPL matches, and have just one victory in 16 Premier League matches this season.
As for Arsenal, Monday's away clash with Reading is just as important. Arsene Wenger's Gunners are coming off a victory in their last Premier League outing, and by earning three points against Reading, they would begin a winning streak.
Arsenal is 15 points back of Premier League-leading Manchester United
What They're Saying
Given Reading's poor start to the Premier League season, and Arsenal's struggles away from home, some, including Jack Winstanley on Twitter are dreading Monday's match:
Winstanley (@jhwinstanley) December 12, 2012
Of course, it's not difficult to understand why some aren't excited for Monday's match, but at least the result is pivotal for both sides.
Meanwhile, Reading manager Brian McDermott believes egos must be put aside if the club is to bounce back according to BBC journalist Nabil Hassan via Twitter:
#readingfc boss Brian McDermott "The most important thing is the group and there is no room for egos and the club is a better place for it."— Nabil Hassan (@NabilHassan79) December 11, 2012
Clearly the Royals need to change their approach as they head into their 17th Premier League match of the season with just nine points in the table.
Reading Player to Watch: Adam Le Fondre
Reading forward Adam Le Fondre will be a key player for the Royals on Monday inside Madejski Stadium. The 26-year-old has started eight EPL matches for Brian McDermott, and come off the bench in eight others. However, it should be noted that Le Fondre has yet to score after coming on as a substitute this season.
The English striker has a club-leading four goals in Premier League play this year, and has put one-third of his shots on target.
Arsenal Player to Watch: Mikel Arteta
Veteran Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta was absolutely huge in Arsenal's most recent Premier League win over West Brom. The former Everton star scored on two penalty shots to put the Gunners ahead comfortably at home where they would go on to win 2-0.
Arteta's incredible striking ability makes him a threat to score on virtually every set piece, and his vision on the ball provides Arsene Wenger's side with a substantial advantage in midfield.
With Arsenal's offseason acquisitions gaining most of the attention this season, it's the second-year player fans should be keeping an eye on this Monday.
Arsenal may have only two Premier League wins away from Emirates this season, but all signs point to them earning a third on Monday. Reading is surrendering two goals per EPL home match this season, and that doesn't bode well as they get set to take on a squad that possesses some quality firepower.
After taking down West Brom in their most recent EPL clash, Arsenal are ready to ignite a streak.
Arsenal 2, Reading 1
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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