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Three To Watch: Hull (H)

Jack Simpson takes a look at three players from Saturday’s opponents to keep an eye on.

Nottingham Forest v Hull City - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Michael Hector

Michael Hector should be familiar name for Reading fans, having made 93 appearances for the Royals between 2014 and 2016.

The defender has gone on to be one of the first names on manager Leonid Slutski’s teamsheet, having played in all of Hull’s Championship fixtures since joining the club on loan from Chelsea.

In the last campaign Hector spent the season on loan at German side Eintracht Frankfurt, making 27 apperances in competitions and scoring five goals. He also gave a good account of himself, helping the Eagles achieve an 11th place finish in the Bundesliga and also finishing runners-up to Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-POKAL.

Whilst in Germany, Hector managed to average 1.8 interceptions per game, as well as making an average of two interceptions per 90 minutes.

These stats suggest that the centre-back was more than capable of making the step up from the Championship to the Bundesliga. Therefore I think Hull signing Hector on loan is a fantastic piece of business, as he is clearly quite capable of playing at the highest level.

However, these figures could also mean that the likes of Liam Kelly and John Swift get frustrated at attempting to supply balls up to Reading’s front three due to Hector’s fantastic ability at reading the game.

Sebastian Larsson

Sebastain Larsson is the new signing at the KC Stadium, having completed a move from Sunderland on a free transfer.

Playing as an attacking midfielder, Larsson’s role is to provide creativity for Hull’s front three, a similar player to that of Liam Kelly.

Last seasonm Larsson made 23 appearances in all competitions as his former side were relegated from the Premier League.

His passing stats weren't too bad but did hint that perhaps he wasn’t getting too involved in games. His average completion was around 80%, but Larsson made an average of just 31 passes per game, compared to Liam Kelly who averages 46 this season.

But despite only getting one assist in the last campaign, Larsson still has the potential of causing problems with his passing and creativity.

Leandro Bacuna and Joey Van Den Berg will therefore need to close Larsson down, so he doesn’t start pulling the strings in his sides favour.

Jarrod Bowen

The final player that Reading fans should keep an eye on Jarrod Bowen.

Bowen has not looked back since bursting into the Tigers’ first team squad last season.

So far this season the right winger has been argubly Hull’s best player with five goals in eight games.

He’s not a player likely to bombard the box with crosses, averaging just 1.4 per game. That hints at a more direct style, giving Jordan Obita or Tyler Blackett plenty to think about.

That ability to cut inside and cause issues for the defence has yielded plenty of success, with eight of Bowen’s 13 shots in this current campaign on target. The Reading defence will have man mark Bowen properly in order to stop him from unleashing shots at Vito Mannone’s goal.

Should Reading’s defenders fail to do this, then Bowen will punish you as a number of teams have already found out.