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It was only a month ago that Hull, winners of League One last season, looked doomed to be relegated straight back to the third tier following a run of five successive defeats with just one goal scored.
But the Tigers have been proof that you should never write any team off, as Grant McCann has masterminded a remarkable turnaround that has seen them win their last four games and rise five points above the bottom three.
Their latest victory came over a stubborn Millwall side last weekend as goals from George Honeyman and Ryan Longman secured a 2-1 triumph.
Hull remain the second-lowest scorers in the Championship this season with just 16 goals to their name, but seven of those have come in their current winning streak.
Liam Moore and Ovie Ejaria missed Reading’s win over Swansea last weekend through injury, but could be fit to return on Saturday.
Junior Hoilett has been back in training this week so could be close to featuring, while Tom McIntyre is in the “final stages” of his recovery from a foot injury.
Carroll’s goal in South Wales should ensure that he keeps his place in the starting lineup ahead of George Puscas.
Grant McCann is expected to name an unchanged Hull side from the one that started against Millwall last weekend.
Lewie Coyle, Josh Emmanuel and Alfie Jones remain absent but it is hoped that Matt Smith is not too far away from a return.
George Honeyman has scored three goals in his last four appearances, having failed to find the back of the net this season previously.
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Reading possible starting lineup:
Southwood; Yiadom, Dann, Holmes, Rahman; Laurent; Halilovic, Drinkwater, Swift, Dele-Bashiru; Carroll
Hull City possible starting lineup:
Baxter; Bernard, McLoughlin, Greaves; Lewis-Potter, Smallwood, Docherty, Longman; Honeyman; Wilks, Magennis