clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Championship Play-Off Final Key Battles: Huddersfield Town v Reading FC

Reading face Huddersfield at Wembley for a place in the Premier League and £290 million. Here's where the match could be won or lost

Sheffield Wednesday v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship Play Off Semi Final: Second Leg Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Nahki Wells vs Liam Moore

Nahki Wells arrived from Bradford in January 2014 and is the Terriers' main threat up front. The Bermudan is a forward that is feared by many Reading fans due to his impressive record against the Royals. This is because in the 10 games that Wells has played against Reading, he has scored five goals. So what's the bet that he finds the net again and sends his team up to the Premier League?

Last season the former Bradford striker scored 17 goals in 44 appearances in the Championship as Huddersfield finished 19th, comfortably clear of the relegation zone.

However this season, Wells has scored 10 goals in 43 league appearances. This may not seem a lot, but the 26 year old has played a vital role in getting his team to Wembley.

Wells also has a shooting accuracy of 45% this season, which is not bad considering his goal-scoring record this season and the striker has also created 36 chances for his teammates meaning he can create as well as score.

If Reading are to get to the promised land, they will have to man-mark Wells and make sure he doesn't get a sniff at Ali Al-Habsi's goal.

With Paul McShane suspended for the final, it will be Liam Moore who will have the all-important role when the teams face off on Monday.

Moore produced an outstanding performance in the second leg against Fulham alongside Joey Van Den Berg and Tiago Ilori at centre-back, and all three will have to do the same against Huddersfield’s attackers.

The former Leicester man has also been brilliant in defence throughout the whole season with the centre-half winning 51% of his duels. Compared to Nahki Wells the Hudderfield striker has won only 39% of his duels, meaning Moore should have an advantage when it comes to battles in the air.

If Moore can produce when it counts it could make the all-important difference between Reading being in the Premier League and another season in the Championship.

Aaron Mooy vs Danny Williams

When I was having a look at Hudderfield's most creative players, the player that stands out the most is Aaron Mooy.

With four goals and seven assists, Mooy is the man Huddersfield will look to in terms of creating chances for his teammates.

The Australian has also been one of the best players in this talented Huddersfield side with his passing, vision and ability to change the game in a blink of an eye.

Furthermore the 26-year-old has a passing accuracy of 83% and has created a total of 97 chances this season. With these stats, the Reading midfield have to mark Mooy tightly and make sure he doesn't pull the strings in his sides favour.

Danny Williams could therefore have the responsibility of keeping the Australian quiet. The American is known for having a physical presence, something that will need to be used in order for Reading to slow things down and stop Huddersfield from dominating the game, especially when Reading aren't in possession.

Williams also has the ability to make driving runs from midfield, which could be vital if Reading do get the chance to break on the counter.

You can see what Mooy is capable of in the video below:

Christopher Schindler vs Yann Kermorgant

The final key battle of this massive game with so much at stake is between Christopher Schindler and Yann Kermorgant.

Playing at centre-half, the German has made 44 appearances in the league this season scoring two goals. But the 26-year-old man has been part of a Huddersfield defence that has conceded 58 goals.

Schindler is also a super header of the ball with the defender winning 55% of his duels this season. Furthermore Schindler has accumulated more defensive actions than any of his team-mates, leading the way in clearances (296), interceptions (86) and blocks (21), which demonstrates the vital role he has in the Huddersfield defence.

With Yann Kermorgant having an aerial success rate of 60% and winning 238 aerial battles this season it promises to be a fascinating and hard-fought duel between the pair.

The Frenchman has had a brilliant season with 18 goals scored which included the vital penalty that sent Reading to Wembley. The striker is also good form having scored 10 goals in his last 10 games.

With Reading playing 90 long balls this season, the most of any team in the Championship, Kermorgant will play a vital role in terms of holding the ball up which will allow his teammates to create chances and test Terriers' goalkeeper Danny Ward.

As we all know Kermorgant loves to thrive on service, meaning that the Royals creative players will need give him balls in which he can attack and create problems for defenders. After all the 35-year-old has the second most headed efforts on goal (42). Only Birmingham striker Lukas Jutkiewicz has more (48).

If Kermorgant can replicate his form from the league campaign, then fingers crossed it should give Reading the platform to succeed under huge pressure and give them a place in next season's Premier League.