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Key Battles: Sheffield Wednesday v Reading FC

Here's a look at some of the key matchups tonight.

Wigan Athletic v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship
Can this man be stopped?
Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Jordan Rhodes vs Paul McShane

Jordan Rhodes who completed a deadline day loan move to the Owls from Middlesbrough, leads the line for his sides team.

The forward has been known for banging in the goals on a regular basis, in fact the Scottish international has hit the back of the net 189 times in 378 appearances throughout his career. This means that Rhodes has scored in half of the games in which he has played in.

Since signing in January, Rhodes has scored three times in nine appearances. But during his time at Blackburn, the striker scored over 20 goals in two successive seasons. Before moving to Blackburn, the striker scored 35 league goals in 40 appearances for Huddersfield during the 2011/12 season. This may have been down at League One level, but it’s still impressive nevertheless.

As we all know, if you give Rhodes time and space then you will be punished.

It could therefore be a tough evening in store for the Reading’s defenders, but if there is one person that can stop the forward from scoring then it will be Paul McShane.

Reading's defending against Preston in their 3-0 defeat at Deepdale last week was truly dreadful (Trust me I was there). The back four struggled to defend set pieces and then they were horribly exposed on the counter, it was terrifying.

McShane has to use his leadership in order to rally his team and make sure they get something from this game. This will be a huge test of Reading's play-off credentials, which could ultimately decide whether they finish in the top six or not.

The Irishman should also be fit, with Jaap Stam confirming that the injury picked up against Preston isn't too serious.

This should be a huge boost to Reading, as they look to leave South Yorkshire with something from Hillsborough, especially with McShane's experience.

Barry Bannan vs Joey Van Den Berg

Bannan is a very much a key player for Sheffield Wednesday in the heart of midfield.

In 35 league appearances Bannan has scored one goal and has seven assists to his name, which is a huge improvement to the three assists he got last season.

If given the opportunity Bannan has the skills and talent to pull the strings in midfield, meaning that the former Crystal Palace man should be a player that the Reading faithful will need to keep a close eye on.

With that in mind, Joey Van Den Berg will have to be alert and stop Bannan from controlling the game in the middle of the park.

The Dutchman is known for having a physical presence, something that will need to be used in order for Reading to slow things down and stop the Owls from dominating the game.

This will very much be the key battle, that could well decide the outcome of this match.

Morgan Fox vs Garath McCleary

Another key battle of this massive game will come down Sheffield Wednesday's left flank between Morgan Fox and Garath McCleary.

Sheffield Wednesday's left back has recently come into the side, having recently completed a move from Charlton in January.

Like Chris Gunter for Reading, Fox loves to get forward, supporting the likes of left winger Adam Reach. This is something that has led to the 23 year old scoring a goal for his new side in their recent 5-0 win against Norwich.

With eight goals and eight assists in 2016/17 McCleary has been one of the many bright spots in this Reading team.

However, the Jamaican once again had a quiet game against Preston.

McCleary has to start getting back in form, replicating those incredible performances in the first half of the season and making it count when it matters.

We all what this player can produce on his day and if can do that against a defender who doesn't have that much experience in the Championship. Then it could be the deciding factor on, who comes out on top in this humongous clash