Reading have had an inconsistent season so far, although it is still better than the relegation-threatened campaign of last year.
New manager Mark Bowen has come in and brightened the mood somewhat at the Madejski Stadium as he has made the Royals much harder to play against.
They have beaten sides such as Preston North End and Fulham both away from home, whilst earning draws against teams including fifth-placed Nottingham Forest.
Forward Lucas Joao was in a great run of form over the Christmas period, but in the New Years Days victory at Craven Cottage, he damaged his hamstring significantly.
Joao is not due to return until mid-March and in his absence, Bowen has tried to find a replacement forward in his squad who can play the same role as the Portuguese forward was doing.
Two strikers that have been tried in fulfilling the role are George Puscas and Yakou Meite. The latter has scored some important FA Cup goals, as well as a brilliant header in the league at the Cardiff City Stadium. Puscas had been out of the team, but since coming back into the lineup has two goals in two appearances.
The duel between them for the position has somewhat been dampened down as Meite has taken up a role on the right-hand side of midfield once more whereas Puscas plays as the striker in the Reading side.
Looking at the pairs statistics, Puscas has the upper hand when it comes to the number of goals scored in the league. The Romanian has got eight, although they have come in clusters. Meite has just six, but his work rate is admired more than his goals by manager Mark Bowen.
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Looking at duels won, and Meite is much better in that department. He’s won 8.2% more duels than Puscas throughout the season. He’s also a much better dribbler, most likely why Bowen puts him out on the flanks.
When it comes to aerial duels, Puscas has to do better in this area of his play. He has won just 31.6% of his aerial duels and that may be a key reason to his struggle to hold the ball up when in possession. Meite has won almost 10% more than Puscas, and could suit the target man role better.
They are both similar in terms of shots on target, with the Romanian edging that stat in terms of percentage of his efforts hitting the target. It is an intriguing battle, and Bowen clearly wants them both in the starting XI.
For the time being, it looks as though Puscas will continue as the main striker whilst Meite will keep his position out on the right-wing.