Reading v Cardiff. Early team news

Last updated : 31 December 2008 By Angus Muller

Hunt was substituted in the first half of the Royals' impressive 3-1 victory at Birmingham last Saturday after suffering a blow to the head, but the Irishman will face Dave Jones' side.

Jimmy Kebe returns after serving a three-match suspension and the winger is expected to replace James Henry.

Andre Bikey recovered from a shin injury to take his place on the substitutes' bench at St Andrews and is once again expected to be on the bench.

First-choice goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann is still sidelined with a calf injury, so Adam Federici, who has impressed during the American's absence, will start once again.

Steve Coppell has revealed that he will shuffle the pack over the busy festive period, but is more likely to make changes for the trip to Southampton on Sunday.

Kevin McNaughton looks set to hand Cardiff a boost by declaring himself fit.

The full-back limped out near the end of Saturday's 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday with an ankle problem, but he should recover in time to make his 100th league appearance for the Bluebirds.

Leading scorer Ross McCormack is looking at a new year return from his hamstring problem and could be ready to face Reading in the club's FA Cup third-round clash on January 3.

Midfielder Peter Whittingham (ankle) and left-back Tony Capaldi (knee) are also closing in on respective comebacks but are not expected to play again this year.

Michael Chopra, whose current loan deal expires after Sunday's encounter against Plymouth, is ready to continue up front alongside Jay Bothroyd.

Sporting Life