Fresh from news that a £40 million investment is to be handed to them by a Siberian paper industry heir, expect Reading to secure a home win over Bristol City this Saturday at odds of 18/25.
The arrival of Jason Roberts from Blackburn and Tomasz Cywka from Derby this Thursday were an immediate statement of intent by the club. Okay, they are not the kind of signinsg that make you suspect Carlos Tevez might be next to move to Berkshire, but they fulfil a desperate need for squad reinforcements.
Roberts can’t be expected to set the Championship alight at the age of 34 but he is a proven goalscoring centre forward of the kind the talented Reading midfield has been crying out for at times this season.
An even greater lift may come from the Royals being able to retain its top creative forces in Jimmy Kebe and Jobi McAnuff. At a club that has built success on confidence and relative continuity over the past decade, securing these transfer targets should give Reading the thrust they need to ensure a play-off finish as a minimum.
While an unexpected Russian benefactor has made this transfer window one of opportunity for Reading, the same can not be said for Bristol City, who are eager to offload top goalscorer Nicky Maynard.
Betting on more than 2.5 second-half goals also looks a snip at 4/1. Reading’s first goals have not come until the 56th minute on average and Bristol City have typically needed 46 minutes to strike.
The Robins might be nursing the loss of Maynard by Saturday depending on how rumoured negotiations with Wigan go – although their erratic away form makes 15/4 on them to win at the Madejski Stadium a thoroughly optimistic bet under any circumstances (the draw is a 5/2 shot).
Since securing a stunning away win at promotion hopefuls Southampton last month, City have been humbled on an FA Cup trip to Crawley and a Championship visit to Brighton.
Backing plenty of goals to be scored looks a decent shout, given that the Royals have won 3-2 and 4-1 in their last two meetings with Bristol City.
The Robins may have changed their manager and entire back four since being thrashed 4-1 on their last trip to Reading, but they haven’t altered their tendency to leak goals. Bristol City have conceded even more goals away from home (22) than basement club Coventry (21) this season.
Betting on more than 2.5 second-half goals also looks a snip at 4/1 as both sides have had to be patient in breaking down opponents’ defences this season. Reading’s first goals have not come until the 56th minute on average and Bristol City have typically needed 46 minutes to strike.
Backing the draw at half-time and a Reading win at full-time appeals at 15/4 based on those scoring patterns.
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