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EFL Cup Key Battles: Arsenal v Reading

Having scouted Arsenal's line up in their 4-0 win at Nottingham Forest in the last round, here are the key battles ahead of Tuesday's mouth watering clash with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium

This promising Arsenal youngster is set to come up against one of Reading's promising youngster.
This promising Arsenal youngster is set to come up against one of Reading's promising youngster.
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Olivier Giroud vs Liam Moore

The Frenchman is expected to start his first game of the season, following his recent injury problems. On his day Giroud can be one of the best strikers around, with his technique, strength and the ability to finish. His height also gives him a significant advantage, which makes him a huge threat in the air.

Last season Giroud got 24 goals in 53 appearances for the Gunners, as Arsenal finished second in the Premier League.

It is worth noting that Giroud has scored twice against Reading in recent times. One in the 4-1 win at the Emirates during the 2012/13 season and one in the memorable 7-5 win at the Madjeski Stadium in the then Capital One Cup, which happened to be on my birthday.

This is why I think Liam Moore will be the best man to keep Giroud quiet, Moore has pace, strength and most importantly height. Moore should have the height in which he can use to compete and win the important headers for his side.

Alex Iwobi vs Tennai Watson

The Nigerian is expected to keep his place following his sides 0-0 draw against Middlesbrough at the weekend. Playing on the left side of midfield, Iwobi has the pace and super crossing ability that can cause any defence problems.

Iwobi has also developed into one of the best young players in the Premier League, with the 20 year old producing some eye catching displays and also scoring against Paris Saint-Germain in this season's Champions League.

It will be down to Tennai Watson to keep this man quiet. What a moment it will be for the 19 year old when he steps out onto the Arsenal turf. The right back has only recently broke into the first team squad and will now be tasked at stopping Iwobi, as Chris Gunter is suspended .

Watson has played in every EFL cup game so far and has done brilliantly in those games, it will therefore be a tough test for the youngster.

Here's a video of Iwobi showcasing his talent.

Gabriel Paulista vs Yann Kermorgant

The Brazilian who was signed from Spanish side Villarreal in January 2015 is expected to come in for Laurent Koscielny at centre back, as manager Arsene Wenger makes changes to his squad.

The 25 year old has only played one game so far this season and that was in the last round of the EFL Cup against Nottingham Forest.

It is worth remembering that Paulista did have problems against Reading in the last meeting between the sides in the FA Cup Semi Final at Wembley during the 2014/15 season, struggling with the tactics that Reading played.

Looking to give Paulista problems throughout the game will be Yann Kermorgant. The 34 year old is expected to play the lone striker role once again and will be a key man for the Royals.

It will be down to Kermorgant to hold the ball up in order for his teammates to join the attacks. This should lead to a fascinating duel between the two players, with Paulista and Kermorgant being over six foot tall.

However Kermorgant will have his work cut out against a centre back, looking to make a point to his boss Arsene Wenger.