In a rearranged fixture, the Royals never got going against Martin O'Neill's men and a resounding beating left them prime candidates for relegation as they struggled to adapt to life in the top flight.
A major upturn in form has occurred since, however - they are unbeaten in five games - and they find themselves out of the bottom three as a result.
Brian McDermott: "The lads are fired up for every game and this one is no different.
"But we know it won't be easy for them to come here now with how we are playing and long may that continue.
"When they and Martin started the season it was difficult, but look at them now.
"They're comfortable in the league and once again Martin is doing a great job, which he always does. He's got good players in and signed Danny Graham and I'm sure he'll be involved.
"As we always do we take it a game at a time and that makes this a big game.
"Since I've been here we've shown the right spirit and character and we have shown that we are never finished. This is a massive game and we need to make sure we start like we finished at Chelsea."