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Three To Watch: Sheffield Wednesday (H)

Who do Reading need to keep an eye on in Saturday’s match with Sheffield Wednesday? Jack Simpson investigates.

Cardiff City v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship
This man has been in excellent form
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Jack Hunt

Jack Hunt arrived at Sheffield Wednesday from Crystal Palace in January 2016 and has become a key part of Carlos Carvalhal’s side having appeared 83 times for the Owls. He is the type of full back that likes get forward and support the Sheffield Wednesday wide men, which can be seen in his dribbling and crossing stats.

In all, Hunt averages 0.5 dribbles and 1.2 crosses per game - both some way ahead of his Reading equivalent Chris Gunter. In contrast, the Welshman manages just 0.2 and 0.4 crosses per game.

Hunt also loves to get a tackle in, as he has the third most in the entire Sheffield Wednesday team (1.9). Again, that is some way ahead of Gunter (0.4).

As a result, Modou Barrow could find it difficult against this talented right back who is likely to have an impact at both ends of the pitch.

Adam Reach

The 24 year-old, who plays primarily as a left back or left winger, has enjoyed a bright start to this season with three goals and four assists in 18 Championship games. In fact, only Gary Hooper (see below) has contributed to more goals for the Owls this campaign.

Reach’s crossing and shooting stats show that the former Middlesbrough man loves to get forward down the left flank and try to create goals. His averages of 1.4 shots and 1.1 crosses per game are amongst the best in the Sheffield Wednesday squad, despite him often playing as a full back.

Cardiff City v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Furthermore, Reach is also the type of player that tends to track back and help his team out. The Owls man gets in the most tackles (2.3) and the most interceptions per game (2.2), suggesting that he isn't afraid to stick his foot out when needed.

That defensive work-rate, combined with his attacking prowess, mean that Reach could cause Reading plenty of problems all down his flank.

Gary Hooper

Gary Hooper should be a familiar face for Reading fans, having been heavily linked to a move to RG2 in the summer of 2013.

The former Celtic man has been in brilliant form this season for the side with eight goals in 18 league appearances, making him the Owls’ top goal-scorer.

Additionally, the former Norwich man also has an average passing accuracy of 84.8% this season which is the sixth highest of anyone in the Sheffield Wednesday side, suggesting that he has the ability keep the ball at his feet and can a pick out a team-mate quite easily.

This means the likes of Liam Moore will need to close down Hooper and make sure he doesn't get any time and space in which launch shots at the Royals’ goal.

With the 29 year-old scoring 195 goals in 442 career appearances’. It is evident that Hooper is a fantastic striker, due to his fantastic overall record. As a result, all efforts from the Reading defence should be made at containing this talented striker.