Rovers, and Tony Mowbray, know all about the threat that Lucas Joao will pose for Reading this evening.

However, stopping him has proven to be the difficult thing for Rovers, with Joao and Yakou Meite having combined to devastating effect in the win at Ewood Park earlier this season.

Joao has scored in 17 of his 28 matches this season, chalking up 20 in total, including Reading’s fourth in the reverse fixture in September.

He also netted a thunderbolt for Sheffield Wednesday in December 2018 on his first return to Rovers where he had a loan spell in the second half of the 2016/17 season.

There the 27-year-old played under Mowbray, scoring three times in 13 appearances, with Rovers having then looked to make a permanent move for the Portuguese striker in 2018, but baulked at Wednesday’s asking price.

He stayed at Hillsborough for a further season before joining Reading where he has scored 28 goals in his two-and-a-half years at the Madejski Stadium.

And Mowbray said: “Lucas Joao is a good footballer, I’ve gone on record before to say that we’ve enquired about Lucas Joao when he was at Sheffield Wednesday having worked with him when I first arrived here.

“I think he’s scored 17 league goals, he’s a very talented boy, he’s got physicality as well, he knows where the net is, he’s big, strong and score lots of different types of goals.”

Reading are fifth in the table and for much of the season have been the surprise package of the Championship season for much of it under Veljko Paunovic. However, they endured a dip in form, losing four matches in five before a 1-0 win at Rotherham at the weekend.

They could be without Andy Rinomhota through injury, but Mowbray believes the Royals have some threats at the top end of the pitch.

He added: “Reading, they’re a really good footballing team who have some really talented individuals, as all teams at the top have got, that can make a difference.

“Olise, Ejaria, Joao, they’re really talented footballers and on their own they can skip past one or two men and slide someone in or score themselves.

“Individually they’ve got some really talented individuals at the top end of the pitch.”