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29th Mar, 2017 | 7:15pm

Neil Redfearn: This area of the game will be vital in Leeds clash v Reading

By Will Butcher

Neil Redfearn believes the midfield battle during Leeds away clash against play-off rivals Reading will prove pivotal on Saturday.

Garry Monk’s side go up against the Royals at the Madjeski Stadium, with both sides looking to gain three points to boost their chances of finishing in the Championship’s top six.

Former Leeds manager Redfearn believes that whichever side can gain an advantage in the middle of the park in Saturday’s tea-time kick-off will come out as winners.

“Monk got the game plan spot on vs Reading at Elland Road,” Redfearn said, as quoted by Radio Yorkshire’s Mark Wilson on Twitter. “The midfield will be vital in the away game.”

Captain Liam Bridcutt is expected to start in what will be a 4-2-3-1 system adopted by former Swansea boss Monk, while Eunan O’Kane, Ronaldo Vieira or Kalvin Phillips could partner him.

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Leeds won the reverse fixture by two goals to nil at Elland Road, thanks to goals from top scorer Chris Wood and versatile attacker Souleymane Doukara.

However, the Yorkshire giants will face a different prospect in Jaap Stam’s side in Berkshire, with Reading losing just two of their 21 league and cup encounters played at home this season.

Leeds fans will be sweating on the fitness of New Zealand international Wood ahead of Saturday’s match, after the target man suffered an impact injury to his calf while on international duty.

Three points against the Royals could see Leeds climb to third in the Championship table, if Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield lose to Burton Albion at the John Smith’s Stadium.

In other Leeds news, this Reading forward has launched a blistering attack on Monk’s side.

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