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Key Battles: Reading FC v Nottingham Forest

A couple of midfielders with an eye for stunning strikes will be chief among Reading's problems this afternoon. Here's our key battles.

Nottingham Forest's main danger man
Nottingham Forest's main danger man
Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Chris Gunter vs Ben Osborn

The 22-year-old who came through the club's academy is one of Nottingham Forest's best players and will be a player that Reading fans will certainly need to keep an eye on.

Playing on either side of midfield, Osborn is one of the best young players around with superb technique, pace, skill and the ability to create something out of nothing.

Last season Osborn got three goals and five assists in 36 appearances, but despite his talents, his side finished a disappointing 16th in the division. He's got good history at the Mad Stad, scoring in last season's 2-1 defeat and netting a stunner the year before in a 3-0 win which you can see below.

Looking to cause frustration for Osborn will be Chris Gunter. The Welshman has played every league game so far this season for Reading but his performances in recent weeks have led to some vocal critisisms from the Mad Stad faithful on social media, but a good outing today against his former side could go a long way towards shutting some of those fans up.

Gunter will have to be at his best to keep Osborn quiet, however the Royals defender has struggled against talented wingers this season. In particular, one game that springs to mind is last week's 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa, where Gunter struggled against Albert Adomah. Failing to stop the cross that led to Villa's first goal.

If you need another demonstration of his talents, here's Osborn scoring a stunner in their 2-1 win at Derby during the 2014/15 season.

Joey Van Den Berg vs Pajtim Kasami

The 24 year old from Switzerland, is another of Forest's best players.

Playing in centre midfield, Kasami is the main creator in the side. That creativity has already led to the Swiss midfielder having three assists to his name so far this season.

Like Osborn he's not prolific in front of goal but like his team mate, Kasami also has the capability of scoring stunning goals, so Reading won't want to give him too much time on the ball in their half.

The best person to stop him in my view is Joey Van Den Berg, the Dutchman has become a real fans favourite since joining the club in the summer. Known for his physical approach, Van Den Berg will be best man to break up the play and stop Kasami from getting on the ball, dictating the play in his sides favour. With 33 tackles to his name this season, Joey has been by far the best player at getting a foot in, with his total 12 higher than his nearest challenger, Danny Williams.

Here's a video of Kasami scoring some stunning goals.

Roy Beerens vs Eric Lichaj

Playing at either side of defence, American Lichaj, is one of Forest's key defenders, linking up in the backline alongside a certain Matt Mills....

Lichaj is known for getting forward to help support the attack, a trait that's already seen the full-back earn two assists and a goal this season.

Looking to create havoc for Lichaj, will be Roy Beerens. The Dutchman should be full of confidence following his good performance in the 1-0 win at Rotherham last weekend, in which the winger got the assist for Paul McShane's goal.

From what I saw last Saturday, Beerens delivery improved massively causing plenty of problems, albeit for a poor Rotherham defence.

If Beerens can produce that sort of performance on Saturday, he could be the key to picking up all three points.