While the Premier League title race has seemingly run its course with Manchester City’s recent collapse, there’s still plenty of mileage in the battle for top spot in the Championship.
Reading and Southampton have frequently traded the lead in recent weeks and with Saints winning at Crystal Palace on Easter Monday, the pressure’s on the Royals to emerge with all three points from the Amex Stadium this evening.
That may be easier said than done, though, with Brighton undefeated at home in 2012 and still holding promotion aspirations of their own as they sit just outside the playoff spots.
A home win is 11/5 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, with the visitors 5/4 to rejoin Southampton at the top of the table and the draw also a good option at 21/10.
Gus Poyet’s side have instantly made the Amex a fortress, winning 14 times in their first season at the new stadium. Ten of those wins have been to nil and they are 4/1 for another shut-out victory here.
Yet to do so they will have to stop one of the division’s most potent attacks as Brian McDermott’s team have only failed to score twice in their last 22 games.
That included a 3-0 win in the reverse fixture at the Madejski on Boxing Day and the Royals are 87/100 to again score first against Albion.
Reading have also often struck late, with over a third of their 60-plus goals this season coming in the final 15 minutes of games, so while Albion may be able to contain them for at least the first half, the visitors should ultimately prevail.
New customers using the free £25 bet they receive when registering with bwin would win £137.50 if Reading are able to pull off a second-half triumph having come in level at the interval.
However, a tight game remains likely between two of the league’s meanest defences, who both concede less than a goal a game, so under 1.5 goals at 37/20 may offer the best value of all.
Recommended bet: Under 1.5 goals in the game @ 37/20
Outside punt: Reading to win after a drawn first half @ 9/2
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