The first player that Reading fans should keep an eye on is John Egan, who completed a transfer from Southend in July 2016 and has gone on to be club’s captain for his side.
Last season the defender made 34 appearances, registering four goals and one assist as Brentford finished in a respectable 10th place in the Championship table. He has already netted twice this season as well.
He also managed to average 1.2 tackles per game and 1.7 interceptions per game, showing that he was more than capable of making the step up from League One. These figures may mean that the likes of Liam Kelly could be frustrated in terms of delivering balls up to Reading’s front three due to Egan’s superb ability at being able to block the supply and being able to spot the danger.
Secondly, according to Squawka, Egan won 55% of his duels last season meaning a fascinating aerial battle could be in store with Jón Dadi Bödvarsson.
Having signed from Arsenal in the summer of 2014, Nico Yennaris has become an important player for manager Dean Smith’s side.
Playing as a defensive midfielder, the 24-year-old is known for his ability at breaking play up and spearheading attacks for his team.
His defensive stats for last season for Brentford were very impressive. For example, Yennaris managed to average 1.8 tackles per game and made a total of 590 interceptions, 1374 clearances and 141 blocks per game - an average of 46 defensive actions per game.
The Englishman will likely be deployed to stop Reading’s creative players from getting on the ball and dictating the play in the Royals’ favour.
The final player that Reading fans should keep an eye on is Romaine Sawyers, who plays as a shadow striker to support Brentford’s main number nine. Sawyers is one of the first names on the team sheet having played in all but one of Brentford’s seven league games so far this season.
His passing stats were very impressive in 2016/17. The former Walsall man managed to average 39 passes per game with a pass completion rate of 77%. This means that Sawyers will likely try and play balls in behind the Reading defence in order for Brentford’s striker(s) to latch onto.
Leandro Bacuna and Joey Van Den Berg will need to close Sawyers down so he doesn’t start pulling the strings in his sides favour. The Reading defence will also need to make sure that they don’t get caught out if they attempt to play the offside trap.