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Key Battles: Fulham vs Reading FC

A tough trip awaits The Royals on Saturday when they face Fulham. Here are the key battles ahead of the clash at Craven Cottage.

The main threat in Fulham's side, Chris Martin
The main threat in Fulham's side, Chris Martin
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Chris Martin vs Paul McShane

The 28 year old who made the surprise loan move from Derby on deadline day is Fulham's main threat up front.

Whilst at Derby, Martin scored 63 goals in 163 appearances which shows just how lethal he is when given the right service.

Martin may lack pace, but he makes up for it with technique, strength, fantastic heading ability and being so clinical in front of goal.

This season Martin has scored four times in 18 appearances for The Whites and will be looking to add to that when his side faces an in-form Reading side.

The best person to deal with this threat would be Paul McShane. The centre half put in a stellar performance last week against Bristol City making crucial tackles and throwing himself at everything. It was a true captain's performance.

McShane will have to be at that level on Saturday if he is to stop a player who on his day can cause most defences problems.

Here's a video of Martin demonstrating what he is capable of in Derby's 3-0 win at the Madejski back in October 2014.

Lucas Piazon vs Chris Gunter

The Brazilian Chelsea loanee could start against the club where he spent the entire of last season at.

The game will be a meaningful one for Piazon with the winger looking to prove to the Reading fans that he is still a top quality player.

Last season whilst on loan at Reading, Piazon scored five goals in 27 appearances in all competitions. However he was criticised by many Reading fans for being too weak and giving the ball away far too much. The performance against Birmingham at home springs to mind as a good example.

Hoping to keep Piazon quiet will be Chris Gunter, the Welshman will be looking to make sure the back four is solid having conceded their first goal in 447 minutes of football in the 2-1 win over Bristol City.

However, the right back got the assist for The Royals' wonderful second goal which was capped off by Roy Beerens firing home.

Gunter will try to get forward and support the wingers when his side have the ball. However he will also need to be aware of the pace that Fulham have in their side.

Here's a video Piazon's goals and assists during his time at Reading last season.

Denis Odoi vs Roy Beerens

The 28 year old, who was signed from Belgian side Lokeren in the summer, has played in all but two games this season.

However in those 16 games, the Belgian has only kept two clean sheets and has conceded 20 goals.

Like Gunter Odoi loves to get forward, supporting the likes of Sone Aluko down the right hand side. He also has the odd trick up his sleeve, as seen during their win over Newcastle on the opening day of the season.

Looking to cause problems for Odoi will be Roy Beerens, the Dutchman has got back to his best in recent weeks with an assist and a goal in the last few weeks.

Beerens will be looking to replicate that on Saturday, as Reading look to make it six wins in a row for the first time since the 2011/12 season, when Reading went on a eight match winning streak.

However he will have his work cut out against a team in which Reading have struggled against in years gone by.