Arsenal will be looking to pile the pressure on local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the race for the Premier League’s top four this weekend as they host strugglers Reading.
The Gunners are a short 11/50 to take a ninth home win of the season against a Royals side who will line up under new manager Nigel Adkins for the first time in a game they will also be desperate to prize something from to avoid their flicker of hope about escaping the drop being extinguished.
Odds of 21/4 are available for the draw and a shock away win is available at 10/1, but before you have a flutter (or register with bwin to claim a free £20 bet), here are five key statistics which may influence your thinking.
2: The number of Arsenal players with hat-tricks in the Gunners last two fixtures against Reading. Although joint top scorer Theo Walcott (who bagged a treble in the infamous 7-5 Capital One Cup win before Christmas) is a major injury doubt, the likes of Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski are 20/1 to notch a trio of goals on Saturday.
3: Not counting an own goal against Aston Villa, the number of goals that Reading players have scored in the first half of their last 16 Premier League fixtures. They are 17/50 not to score in the first half at the Emirates.
4: Arsenal have kept just four clean sheets in 14 home league matches this season. The odds of both teams to score on Saturday are 4/5.
12: The number of goals Arsenal have thumped home in their past two meetings against Reading, albeit with extra-time in the looney League Cup win included. With the Royals in transition and the Gunners well known for dismantling lesser opposition at home (including Adkins’ Southampton 6-1 in September), backing Arsenal to win a match with four goals or more stands out at 31/20.
15: Reading remain the league’s best late scorers, with 15 strikes in the final 15 minutes of Premier League matches this season. They are 3/1 to score the last goal in north London.