TEAM NEWS: Stephen Hunt starts against former club Reading

Ipswich v Reading: Stephen Hunt has been handed only his second start for Ipswich Town for the visit of his former club Reading to Portman Road.

The experienced Irish left-winger – whose last start was a man-of-the-match display in the 3-1 home win over Blackburn on December 3 – replaces the injured Luke Hyam (cut leg) following last weekend’s limp 1-0 defeat at Millwall.

That means that Ryan Tunnicliffe will return to his favoured central midfield role, with Jay Tabb (also ex-Reading and a subbed substitute at The Den) on the bench.

Keeper Dean Gerken remains between the sticks after making two high-profile errors in his last two outings, manager Mick McCarthy explaining his reasons for that decision in yesterday’s press conference.

Reading moved up to sixth in the Championship table last weekend following a 7-1 win over Bolton. Nigel Adkins, unsurprisingly, names an unchanged side for the third successive match.

A fortnight ago Ipswich were unbeaten in nine matches and sixth in the Championship table, but three successive defeats – against QPR, Preston and Millwall – has seen them exit the FA Cup and drop to 10th.

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Reading, by contrast, are on the up having blown hot-and-cold following relegation from the Premier League. They moved up to sixth last weekend.

It’s understood that Middlesbrough right-back Frazer Richardson is at Portman Road and will complete a loan switch on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s trip to his former club Leeds.

Read the full match preview here.

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IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Gerken; Chambers, Berra, Smith, Cresswell; Edwards (cpt), Skuse, Tunnicliffe, Hunt; Murphy, McGoldrick.

Subs: Loach, Mings, Tabb, Wordsworth, Anderson, Nouble, Taylor.

READING (4-4-2): McCarthy; Gunter, Pearce, Gorkss, Obita; McCleary, Akpan, Williams, McAnuff; Le Fondre, Pogrebnyak.

Subs: Federici, Cummings, Kelly, Hector, J Taylor, Blackman, Drenthe.

Referee: Andrew Madley

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