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Key Battles: Reading FC v QPR

Reading return to league action following their exit from the FA Cup, looking to put pressure on their rivals. Here are the battles to keep an eye on against QPR.

This man scored against Reading in October.
This man scored against Reading in October.
Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Tyler Blackett vs Pawel Wszolek

24 year old Wszolek has been a bit of a hero for QPR in recent weeks, having scored the winner against Wolves and Ipswich respectively. The right winger is currently on loan in West London having been signed from Italian side Hellas Verona.

So far this season Wszolek has scored three goals and has two assists to his name, with the first of those goals coming in the 1-1 draw against Reading at Loftus Road back in October.

His opponent down the right hand side will be Tyler Blackett. The left back has looked out of form in recent weeks, with the former Manchester United man struggling to deal with talented wingers.

Firstly against Norwich, Blackett struggled to deal with Jacob Murphy who got the better of him allowing the ball to be cut back to Nelson Oliveria who then scored. Then against Bristol City, he conceded the penalty by running into his opponent which allowed the Robins to make it 2-0 within the first few minutes of the second half.

Lastly on his return to Old Trafford last weekend, Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford gave Blackett a torrid time which prompted Jaap Stam to replace him with Jordan Obita at half time.

Since Blackett has played at left back instead of Obita in December, Reading have conceded 12 goals in their last six games. Blackett has to learn how to deal with talented wingers, stop them from cutting inside, getting crosses in and getting shots away. The 22 year old must do this if he is to keep his place in the starting line up.

Here's Wszolek scoring the winner in their 2-1 win over Ipswich.

Liam Kelly vs Ariel Borysiuk

Ariel Borysiuk completed a switch to Loftus Road in the summer from Legia Warsaw and has come into the side in recent weeks as manager Ian Hollaway looks to get his side up the table. The 25 year old's role is to stop creative players from getting on the ball and pulling the strings in midfield.

He will be up against Liam Kelly, who has been brilliant since coming into the Reading side with his passing and vision causing problems for many teams. In the nine games he's played, the 21 year old has one goal and two assists, which is fantastic considering he was playing in non league for Bath last season.

If Kelly can provide the same sort of quality that he showed against Bristol City when he came on as a sub, then this will put Reading in good stead as they aim to get their promotion push back on track.

Here's Kelly's man of the match performance in the 3-2 win over Bristol City.

Gareth McCleary v Jake Bidwell

Jake Bidwell was signed from Brentford in the summer and has a enjoyed a good run in the side nailing himself down as first choice left back.

Like Chris Gunter and Jordan Obita, Bidwell loves to get forward supporting the likes of former Royal Jamie Mackie, something that has seen him earn one goal and two assists so far this season. However the full back has only kept three clean sheets and has conceded 27 goals in the 17 games that he has appeared in.

Looking to take advantage of this will be Garath McCleary, who has been in sensational form this season with eight goals and six assists for Reading.

The right winger has had a few quiet games in recent weeks, with the Jamaican not producing any top class performances that would have inevitably caught the eye of many teams.

McCleary will have to get back to his best if Reading are to get their first home win of 2017 . This will mean that he will need to cut inside, run at his opponent, but also take an chances that come his way if fed through on goal.