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Guthrie's ban adds to midfield crisis - who steps up?

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Danny Guthrie collected a 10th booking of the season against Birmingham, ruling the midfielder out of the next two home games with Barnsley and Huddersfield. So who will step into the void? We run through the contenders.

Probably out

Mikele Leigertwood and Jem Karacan are both long-term absentees so will miss out, while we've seen Chris Baird depart to Burnley in the past week. Danny Williams would be the obvious choice but he's struggling with injury and not expected back before the Huddersfield game. It's possible he could make an early return but whether Adkins wants to risk him is questionable.

More likely......

Jake Taylor

Taylor has been in and around the squad for most of 2014 and filled in at Millwall when Akpan went off injured during the first half. The former Wales U21 international has made seven appearances for Reading this season and would seem the natural choice to sit in alongside Akpan and make his first start of the season.

Jobi McAnuff

The Reading captain has played in the middle on many occasions during his Reading career and with Barnsley likely to sit deep, Adkins might opt to go for a more attacking threat in the centre and give the likes of Hal Robson-Kanu, or Nick Blackman Jobi's spot on the left.

Possibles

Michael Hector

While primarily a centre-back, 'Big Hec' played a number of games in the midfield up at Aberdeen this season, while also doing a job there for Aldershot in League Two last season. He's shown he can hit the net with a couple of spectacular goals during those spells but might be considered a bit of a defensive option for a home game against a struggling side.

Aaron Tshibola

Tshibola has been on the Reading bench a few times this season, with the 19-year-old still waiting to make his senior debut. The teenager has been winning rave reviews as part of our very successful under-21 side but going straight into a starting spot in the Championship might be a bit too much to ask on this occasion.

Jordan Obita

Obita played in the middle several times during the early parts of the season, notably in a 3-1 away win at Derby. However, with Wayne Bridge still out it's unlikely that Nigel Adkins will want to take Obita out of the left-back slot that he's made his own in 2014 but on a one-off basis you could see a scenario where Stephen Kelly or Shaun Cummings are given the chance to fill in.

Wildcards

As well as Tshibola there's been plenty of promising performances in our academy teams, not least from captain Aaron Kuhl or Craig Tanner but again it's hard to see them being thrown straight into the starting lineup.

So that's some of the contenders but who do you think should feature? Let us know below!