A quick scan of the Championship table and everything seems largely in order. The three relegated clubs in Bournemouth, Norwich City and Watford occupy a play-off spot each, Swansea City have continued their good form from last season and Bristol City have maintained their annual traditions by getting off to a very good start.
However, the club perched at the top of the Championship table is a surprise to many. Reading have started the new campaign in emphatic fashion, winning on six occasions and recording six clean sheets to boot.
Their start to the season is made all the more impressive given manager Veljko Paunović has only been in the job for seven weeks and the Royals have seen a large transformation in their playing staff.
Despite their strong form, the season isn't won and lost in October and Blackburn Rovers will be relishing the opportunity of testing themselves against the most in-form side in the division.
For the lowdown on all things Reading, we spoke to Berkshire Live's Jonathan Low for his take on their impressive start and to get an understanding of the challenge Paunović's outfit will pose on Tuesday evening.
Six wins from seven, unbeaten and top of the league. How would you sum up Reading's start to the season?
Well, it could hardly have gone any better!
Given the upheaval over the summer and the change of manager less than a fortnight before the new campaign, no one could have predicted this start.
The manager has hit the ground running, formed an incredible team spirit and got the players running through brick walls. The slightly odd thing is that they haven’t actually been playing that well in games.
In the past two homes games v Wycombe and Rotherham they were awful in the first half. But they were patient, stuck to their principles and took their chances. Certainly results wise though they have far exceeded expectations.
We expect every player to be on a high but which Reading players should Rovers pay close attention to?
When you’re flying high a the top of the league it’s tempting to say all 11.
If I had to pick one I’d say Lucas Joao. He’s scored seven in seven this year and proving a real threat. He has been lethal in front of goal, is great in the air and has fantastic footwork. He can also hold the ball up superbly which allows the creative players to work their magic.
Few others to keep an eye on are Ovie Ejaria who can create out of nothing, Yakou Meite who’s on cloud nine after an incredible bicycle kick on Saturday and the goalkeeper Rafael who has kept six clean sheets so far this season.
The defence have been superb but whenever they are beaten, the Brazilian comes to the rescue and he has made some brilliant saves already this season.
Are there any weaknesses that Rovers could expose?
New right back Tomas Esteves is a real talent but, having come in on loan from FC Porto on deadline day, is still adjusting to his new surroundings.
He struggled with Rotherham’s physical approach, especially in the first half on Saturday.
The two centre backs - Liam Moore and Michael Morrison - are not blessed with pace so get them in a one v one and you’ll have a chance.
And if Rovers can press relentlessly and stifle the creative players for the whole game then they’ll have a good chance of picking up a result.
What style and system should Rovers expect to face on Tuesday night?
It’s certainly more possession based although they do play it long as and when necessary.
The players are flexible and can switch between styles pretty easily. When things click it is a brilliant watch but mentioned previously, they haven’t yet hit their peak so far this season.
Can Reading maintain their early standards for the season? What's their ambitions for the campaign?
The initial ambition was to improve on last season (14th) and clearly they’ve gone a long way to achieving that already.
Like most Championship clubs, the Premier League is the holy grail and having been out of the top flight for so long, they’re desperate to get back there sooner rather than later.
Given the start, top six should now be the aim in my opinion, realistically. It would be a big shame not to capitalise on this fantastic start.
There will be blips along the way so it’s all about how they react to them. They’ve definitely given themselves an excellent platform though to build on though in the coming months.
And finally, score predictions?
I reckon Reading may concede a rare goal, but the unbeaten run should continue.
Blackburn 1 Reading 2.