Date: 8th April 2016 at 8:22pm
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Nick Blackman has been the danger man for Reading over the past season or so, but luckily for Birmingham his recent departure to Derby County has meant that we have one less attacking threat to deal with. However, Reading certainly have players who will trouble us in the upcoming Championship fixture.

However, despite a lot of attacking threat in the form of Vydra and Hector, I have chosen a defender as my one to watch this week. The main reason for this is that I think we have enough power in defence to overcome their attack but we have been a bit timid in front of goal recently, so I believe their defence will prevent us from taking away the full 3 points.

The player that I have selected is the well known veteran, Paul McShane. The tall, Irish footballer has striking red hair and certainly knows how to strike the ball well too. He has made 231 clearances in 31 appearances this season which is a remarkable number. It shows that he is able to get into the right position and isn’t afraid of putting his laces through the ball in order to clear danger. It represents the fact that he is a no nonsense defender and these types like to fling their body in the way of any shot at any opportunity.

However, he has only picked up 3 yellow cards in those 31 games which is good for a defender. He likes to take his time with challenges, in order to just shepherd the attacker away from goal rather than trying to pinch the ball. It is a good tactic considering he is then not giving away cheap free kicks. Having said this, even if free kicks are given to Birmingham, McShane has very good aerial ability and the eventual outcome in that instance may be a headed clearance.

He is a very experienced player earning more than 30 caps for Ireland on the international stage and being part of youth team’s in the Sir Alex Ferguson reign of Manchester United. Not to mention his roots with the Premier League side West Brom, he certainly has a lot to add to Reading in the Championship. He will be more than up for the game and in order to get past him, Donaldson will need to be strong and really try and challenge him on his blind side as this is where we will get most success.

 
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