Brian McDermott’s Reading side would most likely be enjoying Premier League football right now were it not for a careless 45 minutes at the back against Swansea in May’s play-off final.
As it is, the Royals find themselves staring down at the bottom of the Championship, having lost their last five matches in all competitions.
Their failure to gain promotion saw captain and key defender Matt Mills move to Leicester and leave a hole in the Reading defence that has as yet proved impossible to fill.
Top marksman Shane Long’s departure to West Brom has been another big blow and the Royals have netted just five times in six Championship matches.
Sean O’Driscoll’s Doncaster Rovers have been even tamer going forward this season, scoring just twice and winning a solitary point in their six league matches to date.
A repeat of last season’s 4-3 thriller between the two clubs in Berkshire looks nigh on impossible, then, but betting on a 0-0 draw at 33/4 may tempt gloomy supporters from both clubs. With a scoring draw considerably less likely, a 0-0 bet looks much more promising than a 15/4 punt on a draw outright.
Those hoping that an undeniably talented Reading side can get their act together and recoup a fraction of last season’s sparkle can back them for the win at 11/20.
However terrible Doncaster’s early-season form may be, odds of 19/4 on an away win do look generous against a side that has lost five on a trot and the last two at home.
Either way you foresee it, a single goal could well decide the clash. With odds of 9/4, anyone using their free £25 bet for joining bwin.com will claim back £81.25 if less than 1.5 goals are scored.
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