The former Chelsea striker replaces Stewart Downing in the starting XI to face the relegation-battling Royals, who have made four changes from the side that lost to Southampton
The former Middlesbrough and Aston Villa winger drops to the bench, with Sturridge partnering Premier League topscorer Luis Suarez upfront.
Jamie Carragher is once again preferred to Martin Skrtel, while Lucas Leiva – who signed a new contract earlier this week – is picked alongside Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard in midfield.
New Reading boss Nigel Adkins has made four changes to the side that were beaten 2-0 by Southampton last weekend.
Adam Federici and Hal Robson-Kanu are both out through injury, replaced by Alex McCarthy and Garath McCleary respectively.
Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak returns to the starting XI in place of Adam Le Fondre, while Hope Akpan loses out to Noel Hunt.
Reading: McCarthy; Gunter, Morrison, Mariappa, Kelly; Karacan, Guthrie; McAnuff, Hunt, McCleary; Pogrebnyak.
Subs: Taylor, Harte, Pearce, Carrico, Le Fondre, Blackman.
Liverpool: Reina; Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Enrique; Lucas, Henderson, Gerrard; Sturridge, Suarez, Coutinho.
Subs: Jones, Assaidi, Downing, Coates, Suso, Shelvey, Skrtel.