Reading will host Albion for the first time in the top flight on Saturday.
Midfielder Hope Akpan, who signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with the Royals on Thursday, played against his new club for Crawley in last weekend’s FA third-round tie. Daniel Carrico, who joined from Sporting Lisbon on New Year’s Day, could also make his first appearance for the home side.
The Baggies have won 17 of their 29 league meetings with the Royals, with six draws and six defeats.
Shane Long returns to Reading for the first time since arriving at The Hawthorns on August 9, 2011 – while the Royals’ Shaun Cummings, Jason Roberts and Nicky Shorey could face their former club.
Long scored the winning goal the last time these two sides met at the Madejski Stadium when Reading overcame the Baggies 1-0 in an FA Cup tie in January 2011.
Last time out
HOME: Barclays Premier League, Saturday, September 22, 2012, Albion 1 (Lukaku 71) Reading 0
AWAY: npower Championship, Saturday, March, 27, 2010, Reading 1 (Sigurdsson 6) Albion 1 (Tamas 86)
Form guide (last six league matches)
Last league match line-ups
ALBION (v Fulham - home L 1-2): Foster; Jones, McAuley, Tamas, Ridgewell; Mulumbu, Brunt (Thorne 84); Fortune (Odemwingie 65), Morrison, Gera (Long 65); Lukaku. Subs not used: Myhill (gk), Jara Reyes, Dawson, Rosenberg.
READING: (v Tottenham – away L 1-3): Federici; Gunter, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte; Kebe, Karacan (Robson-Kanu 57), Leigertwood, Guthrie, McAnuff (Le Fondre 73); Pogrebnyak (Hunt 84). Subs not used: Taylor (gk), Morrison, Tabb, Cummings.
Last FA Cup line-ups
ALBION (v QPR – away D 1-1): Myhill; Jones, McAuley, Tamas, Ridgewell; Morrison, Thorne, Brunt, Gera (Fortune 21 (Thomas 45+3)); Long, Lukaku (Dawson 88). Subs not used: Foster (gk), Rosenberg, Jara Reyes, El Ghanassy.
READING (v Crawley – away W 1-3): Federici; Cummings, Pearce, Morrison, Harte; McCleary (Gunter 85), Karacan (Guthrie 59), Tabb, Robson-Kanu; Hunt, Le Fondre. Subs not used: Taylor (gk), Shorey, Mariappa, Church, Ugwu.
Reading injury news
Jason Roberts has been ruled out due to a hip injury. Mikele Leigertwood, who missed last week’s FA Cup third-round victory over Crawley with a knock, and Hal Robson-Kanu (knee) are both doubts. While goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is a long-term absentee due to a shoulder problem.
Kevin Friend will referee Saturday’s game. The Leicestershire official last oversaw the Baggies in their 1-0 home defeat by Stoke in December. Friend has dished out 70 yellow and two red cards in 19 games so far this season.
Selected odds from Bet Butler:
Reading to win: 2/1
Albion to win: 6/4
Pavel Progrebnyak to score first goal: 6/1
If you fancy a flutter on this game with the club's official online bookmaker,
Romelu Lukaku to score first goal: 6/1
Tickets for this game have now sold out.
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