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Key Battles: Blackburn Rovers vs Reading FC

The key battles ahead of the clash with Blackburn at Ewood Park.

The man Tyler Blackett will be up against, Ben Marshall
The man Tyler Blackett will be up against, Ben Marshall
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Ben Marshall vs Tyler Blackett

25 year old Marshall has been with the club for a number of years following his transfer from Leicester in the summer of 2013.

Playing out on the right wing, Marshall is one of the Rovers' best players. When on form he can cause any defence problems with his pace, technique and the ability to whip the ball into the box.

He also has a fantastic ability to score free kicks, something that Reading goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi will need to be aware of.

Last season Marshall scored six goals in 48 appearances in all competitions, as Blackburn finished 15th, three points ahead of Reading.

Looking to keep Marshall quiet will be Tyler Blackett, the left back struggled in the 2-0 defeat at Leeds, with the former Manchester United man looking shaky in the Royals back line.

It will be an interesting game for Blackett in a match where he will need to deliver now that his competitor Jordan Obita is out for two weeks with a thigh injury.

If Blackett can keep Marshall quiet and deliver a good performance, then this will not only be a big boost for Reading, but also for Blackett in terms of his confidence.

Here's a video of Marshall demonstrating just how good he can be in Blackburn's 3-0 win over Fulham last season.

Sam Gallagher vs Paul McShane

21 year old Gallagher is full of confidence ahead of this weekend's clash. His team may have lost 3-2 against Brighton in midweek, but the striker scored both his side's goals.

On loan from Southampton, Gallagher is enjoying his best ever season with nine goals in 20 appearances so far and will be looking follow that up with another good performance.

Without his goals it could argued that Blackburn could be well adrift in the relegation zone.

Paul McShane will be the best man to keep Gallagher quiet, with the centre back known for his warrior-like defending, organisation and leadership. These are the qualities that he'll need to use if Reading are to come away from Lancashire with all three points.

The Republic of Ireland international will also be for looking for his team to keep a clean on the road, something they've have not done since the 3-0 win at Wigan in November.

If he can do this, it should put Reading in good stead, with the team looking to bounce back from the disappointing defeat at Leeds with a win.

Derrick Williams vs Yann Kermorgant

The former Republic of Ireland Under 21 international has played in all but a few games for the Rovers since joining from Bristol City in the summer.

The 23 year old has only kept two clean sheets since the start of the season, but managed to keep one during the 1-0 win at Newcastle a few weeks ago.

Looking to give Williams a hard time will be Yann Kermorgant. The Frenchman could finally get to reclaim his starting spot, following his recent appearances as a substitute.

Kermorgant should fancy his chances against a Blackburn defence that has conceded 29 goals so far this season.

However he will have it all to do against a Rovers side looking to get themselves out of a potential relegation scrap.