clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Key Battles: Reading FC vs Wigan Athletic

Here are the key battles as Reading face Wigan, with the Royals only needing one point to secure their play-off place. On the other hand, the Latics need three points to avoid being relegated.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Liam Moore vs Gabriel Obertan

Gabriel Obertan signed for Wigan in the January transfer window on a free transfer from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala and has played the last few games in the centre-forward position.

Since signing for the Latics, Obertan has played 12 times, scoring one goal and getting two assists to his name.

In a must win game for Wigan, Obertan will be a key man if they are get the three points to take the relegation fight to the final day of the season.

Liam Moore will be the player that will be looking to keep Obertan quiet and make sure he doesn't get the chance to put his side in charge.

The centre-back has been one of the players of the season since joining in the summer, making 43 appearances in all competitions. He's also produced some heroic performances - most notably against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

With Reading needing just a point to confirm their place in the play-offs, Moore will be key, if the Royals are to stop the Latics from scoring.

Obertan can also play down on the right or on the left, so it could be either Chris Gunter or Jordan Obita that duels with the former Manchester United man.

Chris Gunter vs Michael Jacobs

Michael Jacobs, who arrived from Wolves in June 2015, is one of the key men for the Latics.

Playing down the left wing, Jacobs has been crucial for Wigan up to this point with three goals and three assists in 41 league games.

However, it is worth noting that some of his goals have come against sides in the top six. For example, Jacobs scored in Wigan's 3-2 defeat at Fulham and their 2-1 defeat at Newcastle.

It means that Chris Gunter will need to be aware of threat that the former Blackpool and Wolves man possesses.

The right back put in a poor show against his old club Nottingham Forest last week, giving the ball away to Ben Brereton who would then slide the ball for Britt Assombalonga to score the opener.

With Wigan needing three points to take the relegation scrap to the final day of the season, this is likely to be the battle that could decide, if the Latics are relegated or if the Royals can confirm their play-off spot.

I therefore expect the game to be quite open with both sides looking to take the initiative.

But, if Gunter can contain Jacobs and stop the crosses from coming into the penalty area, it should hopefully get the Royals across the finishing line.

Yann Kermorgant vs Dan Burn

The final key battle sees Yann Kermorgant face centre half Dan Burn.

Burn, who signed from Fulham in the summer, has made 40 appearances this season for Wigan and has established himself as one of the main men in the heart of the Latics defence.

However, he has been part of a defence that has conceded 55 goals.

Looking to keep up his impressive form will be Yann Kermorgant. The Frenchman has had his best ever season in professional football with 16 goals in 40 appearances.

If the former Bournemouth man can keep up his impressive performances in front of goal, it could give the Royals the confidence to get the all important point that secures their play-off place.

The 35 year old will require service from the wingers in order for this to happen so, if Dan Burn can block this, it could be a tough afternoon for the striker.