Crystal Palace will go into their FA Cup quarter final away game against Reading as 13/10 favourites, despite having won just three of their last 15 games.
Rock solid at the Madejski Stadium, the Royals look by far the better bet to reach the last four for the second time in as many years at 19/10.
It’s true that each of the Eagles’ three victories since Christmas came in this competition and against opposition of a higher ilk than their last-eight hosts.
Yet, against Southampton, Stoke and Tottenham they were underdogs able to forget their Premier League cares for an afternoon, with little in the way of urgency or expectation of success to weigh them down.
That won’t be the case at Reading, who, as the last Championship side in the competition, were undoubtedly the choice draw for all clubs in the last-eight hat.
Alan Pardew’s men highlighted how uneasy they are with being cast as most-likely victors just now against Liverpool last weekend.
One goal to the good and controlling the game when the Reds’ James Milner was sent off, they went to pieces, allowing the Anfield side to escape Selhurst Park with a 2-1 victory.
The fact that they are expected to win their way into the club’s first FA Cup semi-final since 1994/95 will only add to the pressure.
Compared to the Eagles, Reading are old hands at the latter stages of the world’s oldest knockout competition, having taken eventual winners Arsenal to extra time at Wembley in the 2015 last four.
They will be hopeful of returning to the national stadium again this year, not least due to an excellent home record this term.
Reading are unbeaten in nine games at the Madejski.
Meanwhile, they’ve lost just once in 11 since Brian McDermott returned to the club and a mere four times all season on the homestead.