A pair of sides whose seasons have been dwindling out since Easter collide on Saturday as Fulham take on relegated Reading at Craven Cottage.
Martin Jol’s men are 13/20 favourites to break their five-game Premier League winless run against the Royals, who are a 17/4 chance in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, with the draw at 13/5.
Reading’s lengthy quote is an indication that their form is even more desperate than that of the Cottagers: twice as desperate, in fact.
A miserable sequence of ten matches without a win has condemned the Berkshire club to life in the Championship next season, with new manager Nigel Adkins yet to gel the side into a cohesive unit.
The sluggish form of both sides – Fulham are winless in five outings – must dampen hope of another thriller to match the 3-3 draw they served up at the Madejski Stadium in October.
In contrast to that first encounter, both Reading and Fulham have been devoid of any real conviction in front of goal in recent weeks.
Adkins’ new side’s tally of two goals from their last five matches incredibly beats Fulham’s record of just one in their last five (that coming as an own goal to boot).
A bet on a 0-0 draw at 9/1 might appeal to anyone who was able to withstand Reading’s wretched goalless affair with QPR last weekend – a game which finally put both teams out of their misery.
I fancy Fulham to edge this one, though, as they will want a win to move clear of the 40-point mark and dispel any lingering (albeit remote) relegation fears.
Jol’s side’s home record this season – with seven wins – is also vastly superior to Reading’s away return of just one victory and two draws in 14 games.
With that in mind, a Fulham win in a match featuring two goals or fewer looks a tempter at 17/5, especially with winnings of £88 on offer for new customers backing it with their free £20 bet.
Dead rubbers at this stage of the campaign are rarely pretty and a thriller cannot be expected by the Thames – but Fulham’s extra class should see them over the line.