There’s little to separate Championship play-off hopefuls Reading and Hull City ahead of Saturday’s meeting between the pair at the Madejski Stadium.
The hosts have the edge over the Tigers heading into the clash through possessing a six-goal superior goal difference, which positions them fifth in the league table.
Nick Barmby’s troops are hot on their heels in sixth place, though, and he will be reminding his players that no less than a win will do if they’re to leapfrog the Royals.
However, defeat for either side could see them surrender their top-six status – with Birmingham and Derby ready to pick up the pieces – and therefore caution could prove the theme of the game.
Reading are the 19/20 favourites in bwin’s 3Way football betting market for the match, with the draw available at 11/5 and a Hull victory priced up at 29/10.
There have been just five previous meetings between these sides in the Championship era and the average goal tally per game stands at just over two.
I’m not expecting Saturday’s encounter to be any different, but it’s a more difficult task in forecasting a beneficiary in the outcome, with three of their last five contests ending in a 1-1 draw.
Bwin offer an appealing 5/1 for a repeat of the same scoreline this time around, but there are safer odds available if you’re not keen on placing your stake on an outright winner, particularly as only nine of the 52 games these sides have featured in this term have ended up deadlocked.
Of Hull’s 26 league games this season, an enormous 69.2% have accumulated less than three goals. Reading’s record of 15 games with under 2.5 goals (57.7%) is somewhat less encouraging, but it remains a high figure from only 26 games nonetheless.
If you’re an ambitious gambler, back exactly two goals at 12/5, but for the more conservative punter, Bwin’s price of 13/20 for under 2.5 goals looks an assured bet for this one.
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