McCleary misses out with minor injurySteve Clarke has made two changes to the side that lost against Watford six days ago, with Hal Robson-Kanu and Jake Taylor starting against the Seagulls this Boxing Day.
Garath McCleary has not travelled after picking up a minor injury, while Nick Blackman drops to the bench to hand Robson-Kanu a starting berth after the midfielder missed the Hornets clash following the birth of his baby.
Aaron Kuhl makes his return from injury to be named amongst the substitutes, while Alex Pearce keeps the captain's armband after being issued with it at Madejski Stadium last weekend.
Besides McCleary, the Royals remain without the injured Anton Ferdinand, Jem Karacan, Hope Akpan, Jamie Mackie, Danny Guthrie and Pavel Pogrebnyak.
Brighton: Stockdale, Calderon (c), Halford, Dunk, J Bennett,Forster-Caskey,Gardner, Holla,Colunga, E Bennett, Bent.
Subs: Walton, Hughes, Chicksen, McCourt, Ince, March, Mackail-Smith.
Reading: Federici; Gunter, Obita, Hector, Pearce (c), Norwood, Williams, Robson-Kanu, Taylor, Cox, Murray.
Subs: Andersen, Cummings, Kelly, Cooper, Kuhl, Blackman, Tanner.