After finishing last month with consecutive league wins, Reading began December with mixed results in the cup competitions.
Although they were dumped out of the FA Cup by fifth-tier Eastleigh, the Royals bounced back with a penalty-shootout victory over Charlton Athletic in the EFL Trophy.
Unfortunately for the Royals, they were unable to back up their EFL Trophy success in Saturday’s home league meeting with Barnsley despite the fact that they took the lead through Harvey Knibbs inside four minutes.
However, Herbie Kane restored parity from the penalty spot to send the two sides into the break on level terms, before late goals from Devante Cole and Max Watters condemned the Royals to a 3-1 defeat, which leaves them in 23rd place and five points adrift from safety.
Having conceded 33 goals in 19 league games, Reading currently hold the worst defensive record in the division, highlighting a key area for improvement if they are to avoid back-to-back relegations.
Oxford, meanwhile, have struggled for consistency since Buckingham replaced Liam Manning in the dugout last month.
The Oxford boss began his tenure with a disappointing 2-0 defeat, before they fought hard to take a point off promotion rivals Bolton Wanderers.
After overseeing his first win in a second-round FA Cup tie against Grimsby Town, Buckingham saw his side edge out Forest Green Rovers to advance to the last 16 of the EFL Trophy.
While the U’s manager has enjoyed success in the cup competitions, his wait for a league win was prolonged by a heavy 3-0 defeat to Peterborough United at the weekend, causing them to drop from third to sixth position.
Having failed to score in any of their three league games under Buckingham, Oxford will be desperate to offer an improvement in the final third when they face Reading in a competitive game for the first time since August 2004.