Alfie starts at St Andrew'sNigel Adkins has restored Adam Le Fondre to his starting eleven for this afternoon's clash at Birmingham City.
Garath McCleary drops to the bench as Alfie starts up front, while Hal Robson-Kanu - who was forced off the field after only half an hour against Derby last weekend - is fit to start.
Sean Morrison, Wayne Bridge, Danny Williams, Jem Karacan and Mikele Leigertwood remain sidelined, while Pavel Pogrebnyak retains his place on the substitutes' bench.
Young striker Craig Tanner has travelled with the squad, while Shaun Cummings is also at St Andrew's as part of Nigel Adkins' group.
Reading: McCarthy, Gunter, Obita, Gorkss, Pearce, Akpan, Guthrie, Drenthe, McAnuff (c), Robson-Kanu, Le Fondre.
Subs: Federici, Kelly, Hector, J Taylor, McCleary, Blackman, Pogrebnyak.
Birmingham: Randolph, Caddis, Packwood, Robinson, Reilly, Spector, Huws, Burke, Novak, Shinnie, Macheda.
Subs: Doyle, Blackett, Lee, Rusnak, Ibe, Zigic, Lovenkrands.