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Key Battles: Reading FC v Brighton & Hove Albion

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Reading play Brighton in their second league game at home, and are looking to get back to winning ways following two consecutive defeats. So where will the key battles be played out on Saturday?

Can Chris Gunter stop this man from impacting the game?
Can Chris Gunter stop this man from impacting the game?
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Paul McShane vs Glenn Murray

Former Reading loanee Murray has had a decent start to his second spell at the Seagulls, following his move from loan move from Bournemouth in the summer.

Murray scored two goals in his first home appearance since re-joining the club in the 3-0 win against Nottingham Forest last weekend. He then followed it up by scoring again in the 3-0 win over Rotherham in midweek.

As Reading fans are well aware, Murray has the ability to find the back of the net when needed. His ability to hold the ball up is also fantastic, which allows his teammates to join the attacks.

It will therefore be interesting as to how McShane copes with Murray, if he can keep him quiet then this will go a long way in Reading getting a positive result. However McShane will have to be at his best, if he is to achieve this.

Chris Gunter vs Anthony Knockaert

The former Leicester winger is one of the best left wingers in the Championship and the Reading defence will need to be on guard, if they are stop the Frenchman from impacting the game in his side's favour.

Last season Knockaert got five goals and seven assists for Brighton in 19 Championship appearances, following a move from Belgian side Standard Liege - and there were rumours that Newcastle wanted to take him to St James Park this season.

Looking to stop him will be Chris Gunter, who was deemed to be at fault for the Magpies' penalty on Wednesday night. It will be down Gunter to stop the crosses from coming into the penalty area and to stop Knockaert from creating chances for Murray et al, or even getting one in on target himself.

Gunter and the rest of the Reading defence will have to be at their absolute best to achieve this. If the Welshman can do this then it will go a long way in Reading getting a positive result from the match.

Joseph Mendes vs Lewis Dunk

Following his substitute appearance against Newcastle on Wednesday, Joseph Mendes is expected to make his full debut this weekend.

24 year old Dunk, meanwhile is in my view is one of the best centre backs in the Championship with his tackling ability and his overall awareness. Last season he helped his side gain 13 clean sheets, scored three goals and got one assist to his name. It is these performances that saw Dunk linked with Premier League clubs, with West Brom seeing a reported £7 million bid turned down by Brighton for Dunk's services.

Mendes on the other hand will be looking to make an impact straight away for his new club following his transfer from Le Havre in the summer. With his height and strength, the Frenchman will be the striker up top that Reading will look for in order to win headers and hold the ball up, allowing his teammates to join the attack.

This will be a fascinating battle between Mendes and Dunk mainly due to their height and presence on the field. Mendes is 6ft 1in tall, while Lascelles is 6ft 4in tall. So it will be interesting as to who wins the headers from the long balls and crosses.

Who's got the advantage, Royals fans? Who's going to make the difference against Brighton? Let us know your thoughts...