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Key Battles: Leeds United vs Reading FC

Another tough trip to West Yorkshire awaits the Royals, as they face Leeds at Elland Road. Here are the key battles.

This man is in excellent form this season.
This man is in excellent form this season.
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Chris Wood vs Liam Moore

Former Leicester striker Chris Wood has had a much improved season so far, and his side's top scorer with 13 goals in all competitions.

The 25 year old has turned out to be one of the best strikers in the Championship this season with his technique, hold up play, strength and clinical finishing ability in front of goal. Leeds manager Garry Monk has clearly got the best out of him and the Reading defence will need to be on their guard as they face a forward who is having his best season for many years.

It is worth noting that Wood scored twice the last time Reading were at Elland Road in the 3-2 defeat last season and will be keen to put in a similar performance when he squares off against Jaap Stam's team.

Looking to make sure Wood doesn't keep up his fine form will be Liam Moore. The centre-back's return to the team at the weekend was clearly welcomed, as Reading bounced back from their embarrassing 5-0 defeat at Fulham with a hard fought 2-1 over Sheffield Wednesday.

Moore has the height and pace to deal with the traits and qualities that Wood has, which could therefore lead to a fascinating one on one duel throughout the 90 minutes.

Here is a video of Wood demonstrating what he's all about.

Luke Ayling vs Roy Beerens

25 year old Luke Ayling has played every game since signing from Bristol City in the summer, however the right-back has only kept six clean sheets in those games.

Like Chris Gunter, Ayling loves to get forward supporting the likes Hadi Sacko down the right hand side, a trait that has seen him earn one assist so far this season.

Looking to create havoc for Ayling will be Roy Beerens. The Dutchman is fine form and should be full of confidence following his brilliant performance against Sheffield Wednesday in which he scored both goals. It was arguably his best performance in a Reading shirt and he will be looking to replicate that on Tuesday night.

If Beerens can produce that sort of performance, he could be a key man if Reading are to come away with all three points.

In case you missed it, here are the match winning goals from Roy Beerens in the win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Pontus Jansson vs Yann Kermorgant

Swedish centre-back Pontus Jansson has made a fantastic impact at Leeds since joining them on loan from Italian side Torino.

From watching Leeds in their 2-1 win over Barnsley back in October, Jansson stood out for me. He has all the abilities that a manager wants from a centre-back; he has the strength, he's got the ability to bully strikers, is great at bringing the ball out from defence and he's got the odd trick up his sleeve. At times he was unplayable and it is no wonder that he has quickly become a fans favourite with the Elland Road faithful.

Looking to put this to the test will be Yann Kermorgant. The Frenchman made a welcome return from injury as a substitute last time out and could make his first league start in over a month tonight. The striker also played a key role when he came on against Wednesday. For example, he was able to hold the ball up which allowed play to be slowed down and then he got the assist for Roy Beerens' second goal after flicking the ball over the Sheffield Wednesday defence.

These are the things that Kermorgant will need to do again if Reading are to leave Elland Road with another win under their belt.

However the centre forward will need be at his very best against a formidable opponent.