Carlton Cole has had his red card against Everton rescinded, denying Modibo Maiga a rare chance to start in his favoured central striker role.
Jack Collison, Alou Diarra and Gary O'Neil compete to start alongside Mark Noble, with the former perhaps favoured following his return from injury.
Guy Demel should be back following illness and may replace Tomkins at right-back with O'Brien on the left, as George McCartney is sidelined.
Yossi Benayoun has returned to parent club Chelsea after failing to recover from an injury sustained in November.
Reading were convincing winners in both matches between these two promoted sides from the Championship last season, romping to a 3-0 victory at the Madjeski Stadium last December.
The Hammers, however, have acclimatized to the Premier League far better having been able to bring in a few proven players at this level, while Reading have struggled to keep pace.
The hosts have, however, still only been beaten 3 times at home this season, to three of the league's big hitters, so they will fancy their chances and perhaps see this as a winnable game to bridge the gap at the bottom.
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