Reading will looking to build upon their encouraging draw against Swansea, but know that in fixtures like these they need to secure 3 points if they are to survive.
The 0-0 draw at the Madjeski was hardly a classic but the clean sheet as well as stopping a run of seven consecutive defeats would have been seriously welcomed.
Now the season is over half way through its course the Royals fans will be praying that a point gleaned will spark their turn around in fortunes.
They did the double over West Ham last season and most be hoping they can achieve this feat in the Premier League.
A tube strike in London mean’t that Sam Allarydyce’s men got the day off on Boxing Day and they will be hoping to capitalise against the Premier League’s leakiest defence.
A Victory against Chelsea prematurely raised hopes that the Hammers could start to move on up towards the Europa League places. They have come crashing back down to Earth since them and pip up mid table, with just one point in nine.
Carlton Cole ready for the short journey to Berkshire, with the red card shown to the forward against Everton having been rescinded.
Carroll still suffers from a familiar knee problem whilst Ricardo Vaz Te has only just come back from a dislocated shoulder. Yossi Benayoun has returned to parent club Chelsea due to injury and Mohamed Diame is sidelined with a hamstring issue.
Reading will be revitalised by the return of Jason Roberts who is set to be available after four games out with a hip injury. Sean Morrison is set to be out with an ankle injury and Alex McCarthy remains a long term absentee.
West Ham have scored just five away goals all season fewer than any other side and will be hoping to improve on that here.
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