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Key Battles: Reading FC v Burton Albion

Here are the key battles as Reading return to action following the international break.

Reading's in-form man Garath McCleary
Reading's in-form man Garath McCleary
Martin Willetts/Getty Images

Tyler Blackett vs Lucas Akins

The 27 year-old has been at the club for a few seasons, following his arrival from Stevenage in July 2014.

Last season Akins got 12 goals and three assists as he helped Burton Albion make history by winning automatic promotion to the Championship for the very first time.

He has done okay since making the step to Championship football, with three goals and one assist so far this season.

The right winger is one of Burton's danger men, having the ability to put brilliant whipped crosses into the box with the strikers looking to feed on the delivery.

Akins will be up against Tyler Blackett, who started in the 3-0 win against Wigan last time out and will be looking to keep his place by putting in another good performance.

It will be Blackett's job to stop the supply and stop the ball from finding its way into the box.

Blackett will therefore need to be his guard as the former Manchester United man has struggled for consistency so far this season, the games against QPR and Aston Villa spring to mind.

Here's a video of Akins showcasing his talents in Burton's 4-3 defeat against Nottingham Forest on the opening day of the season:

Paul McShane vs Jackson Irvine

Playing in central midfield Irvine is another of Burton Albion's best players.

Signed from Scottish Premiership side Ross County in the summer the 23 year-old from Australia is the main threat from midfield.

This has been demonstrated with Irvine scoring five goals in 15 appearances so far this season.

Irvine's goals have helped claim vital points for Burton in their fight to avoid relegation to League One, most notably in their 1-0 win over Derby at the end of August.

From studying Irvine's goals three of the five he has scored have been headers from inside the six yard box.

The best person therefore to deal with this threat will be Paul McShane, the Reading captain has played the last three games keeping three clean sheets in the process and will be looking to make that a fourth on Saturday.

McShane is known for his brilliant heading and warrior-like defending, so if someone is going to keep Irvine from scoring on Saturday, it's going to be him.

Here's a video of Irvine scoring one of his headed goals in Burton Albion's 1-0 win over Derby earlier this season.

Garath McCleary vs Lloyd Dyer

The 34 year-old whose former clubs include Leicester, Watford and Burnley has made a decent impact for The Brewers since arriving in the summer.

So far this season, Dyer has three goals and two assists to his name and will be looking to add that when his side faces off against a very strong Reading defence.

Playing on either side of the midfield, Dyer has the ability to create something out of nothing and also score the odd spectacular goal.

The man he'll be squaring off with will be Garath McCleary, the Jamaican international has been in terrific form this season with six goals and four assists in 14 appearances.

After the Wigan game in which he scored two goals in five minutes, McCleary said he was in "the best spell of his footballing career"

McCleary therefore will be full of confidence, which will be a massive boost for The Royals and Jaap Stam.

With Burton Albion playing three in defence, wing back Dyer will be the one to stop McCleary and help his defenders out when Reading are on the attack.