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Key Battles: Reading FC v Sheffield Wednesday

A tough home fixture awaits as Reading face sixth placed Sheffield Wednesday. The Royals are looking for redemption following a humiliating 5-0 defeat at Fulham last weekend. Here are the key battles.

Can George Evans top this man from impacting the game?
Can George Evans top this man from impacting the game?
Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Liam Moore v Lucas Joao

The Portuguese striker, who was signed from his native side CD Nacional in the summer of July 2015, is expected to start as one the main strikers following Fernando Foresteri's red card in their 2-1 win over Preston last week. Last season Joao scored six goals in 40 appearances. This may not sound much, but twice-capped Joao has ability to pull the strings if given the opportunity with his combination of height and technique.

Joao has also failed to get off the mark so far this season in the league, but he'll be looking to score against a defence that could be low on confidence following last week's display at Fulham.

However the defence should boosted with Liam Moore returning from suspension. The centre back was clearly missed last week, as the Reading defence conceded five goals for the first time this season. This should hopefully mean that the Reading back line should be more solid in reducing the number of shots on goal.

However Moore and the Reading defence should not get complacent, as Joao has the ability to punish any slack defending as this video demonstrates.

George Evans vs Barry Bannan

The Scottish international, who was bought from Crystal Palace in August 2015, is one of the Owls' main creative players in central midfield. Last season Bannan got three goals in 41 appearances in all competitions and two assists, as Sheffield Wednesday finished in the play off places.

This season Bannan has scored one goal and laid on three, and should be a man that Reading fans should keep a close eye on.

Looking to keep Bannan quiet will be George Evans, the central midfielder has had a brilliant season so far producing some eye catching performances, but at the same time going quietly under the radar as he allows others to fashion chances further up the pitch.

Back in October Evans praised manager Jaap Stam for re-launching his career and he believes "he is learning from the best." It is therefore no surprise that Evans has gone on to be a key player for Reading, mainly due to his versatility in the middle of the park. The pressure will be on with Danny Williams suspended, following the American's red card at Fulham last week.

This will mean that Evans will need to stop Bannan from getting on the ball and dictating the play, but also help launch attacks when Reading are on the counter. However with Bannan being able to play across the middle of the park, Reading's entire midfield will need to be aware of the talent that this man possesses.

Roy Beerens vs Jack Hunt

The right back has been with the Yorkshire side since last season, first joining on loan from Crystal Palace in August 2015 and then making his stay permanent in January 2016. Last season Hunt played 40 games in all competitions, keeping 14 clean sheets in the process including one in the play off semi finals.

This season Hunt has played 12 times keeping four clean sheets and will looking to make it five when his side visits the Madejski Stadium. Hunt is likely to start despite nursing an injury that he picked up Sheffield Wednesday's 2-0 win at Wolves two week ago.

Looking to cause Hunt problems will be Roy Beerens. The left winger may have got back to his best in recent weeks, and is being called into question by Reading fans, with calls for Jaap Stam to replace him with Callum Harriott. It will therefore be a big game for the Dutchman, up against a Wednesday defence which has only conceded more than twice on one occasion this season.