Brad Jones v Alex McCarthy
Brad Jones is expected to step in and fill the void left by Pepe Reina if the Spanish international is not fit enough to play. Reina hurt a hamstring in the warm up of Spain's match against France earlier in the week. Alex McCarthy has been carrying the Reading defence over the last few games and is starting to make a name for himself, he'll be high on confidence. Whoever comes out on top in this battle between the goalkeepers should help his side to keep a clean sheet.
Martin Skrtel v Pavel Pogrebnyak
Martin Skrtel is one of the leaders in the Liverpool defence and he has a big role to play in keeping Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak at bay. The big Russian has two goals from six starts for Reading this season so should be doubly determined to succeed in this game. His presence and power mean that Skrtel is one of the only equipped defenders in the Liverpool defence who can handle him.
Glen Johnson v Jimmy Kebe
Jimmy Kebe is one of the few players in the Reading team who can swan around the pitch at will. He is at his most dangerous when he is given free license to roam which means he will generally focus on the wider areas. Glen Johnson will have to keep him quiet if he drifts out to the left because Kebe is a creative and attacking player who can handle himself physically. Johnson has to be perfect in terms of his position or Kebe could weigh in with a few assists.
Steven Gerrard v Jay Tabb
This is a battle between the two players who will be urged to drive the attack of their teams through the middle of the pitch. Gerrard is obviously going to be under immense pressure to get forward and support Luis Suarez in the attack. However, this is going to create a lot of space for Tabb to exploit, especially if Reading play five men across the midfield. Tabb does exactly the same sort of job for Reading and whoever is the more effective should be on the winning side.
Luis Suarez v Kaspars Gorkss
Luis Suarez is the only fit and high profile striker that Liverpool have available at present. Gorkss will be tasked with keeping him quiet and Suarez needs to be at his very best to help Liverpool win. If Gorkss can keep the Reading defence organised then it will help them when they inevitably drop deep. So long as Gorkss always stays on the right side of Suarez and doesn’t leave himself chasing the play, Reading will stand a great chance of eliminating Liverpool’s biggest threat.