- (Photo: Reuters/Dylan Martinez)
Arsenal will travel to face Reading at Madjeski Stadium as the Gunners look to quell the rising tide of criticism after a recent spell of poor showings.
Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger will look to regain the club's winning style and forget their embarrassing defeat by the hands of League Two club Bradford in the Capital One League Cup that came during a penalty shootout.
The defeat produced even more calls for Wenger to step down while unruly fans charged the club of remaining mediocre by not signing top-tier players that could move Arsenal up the table.
The defeat by Bradford was characterized as a lowly performance that encapsulated the clubs recent form. The Gunners have managed to win just three matches in their last 11 games, and Wenger has continually defended his players by challenging them to show their true character in the face of unruly fans.
To help Arsenal find its winning way will be striker Olivier Giroud, who has been cleared by training staff after recovering from a back injury. Laurent Koscielny's thigh problem and Theo Walcott's calf injury will be addressed before the match on Monday, but they are doubtful to be featured in the game.
Andre Santos, Lukasz Fabianski and Abou Diaby have all been ruled out as they recover from their respective injuries.
For Reading and manager Brian McDermott, their task in not so much concerned with pleasing noisy fans at this point. They are concerned with gaining enough points to stay in the Premier League after their recent promotion.
With the Queens Park Rangers gaining their first win of the year against Fulham on Saturday, Reading is now in possession of the last spot in the table, one point behind QPR and six points away from being clear of the relegation zone.
Reading must find a way to come away with points on Monday or risk falling further down the table. Reading has lost their last five league games and has earned only nine points after their first 16 games.
The club's record at home does little to instill confidence as they have won only once in their last 10 Premier League home games.
Kick-off for the match is at 3:00 ET and can be watched online here.