It is too early to talk of relegation six-pointers, but Swansea City look excellent value in any case to get their Premier League season back on track at 9/10 with three vital points over Reading.
Three defeats in a row for Michael Laudrup’s Swans have dissipated the August optimism in Wales, but there are good reasons to believe that October will start on a good note.
Swansea’s two most recent defeats came from their passing game being blunted by well-organised, physical and in-form sides in Everton and Stoke.
However, Reading’s style of football is more similar to Swansea’s, albeit with less quality so far this season, as the Royals’ pass completion rate of 70.4% is dwarfed by a figure of 87% for Laudrup’s men.
The head-to-head record between the sides in the Championship prior to their promotion is also ominous for the visitors, with Reading unable to win any of their past six meetings.
Swansea fans, of course, will always cherish the last meeting between the two sides in particular, when a 4-2 Wembley win in May 2011 sent the club into the top flight.
The make-up of the sides has changed since then but their philosophy hasn’t and with both desperate for a win, it is easy to imagine a similar result.
For that reason, backing Swansea to win with four or more goals scored in the game at 19/4 looks a great option.
If it is a high-scoring game then backing Reading to lead at half-time and Swansea to win could just be the most viable outrageous punt of the weekend at 28/1.
Reading have, after all, been mightily impressive for short periods this season, including the first half of their visit to Chelsea, when they led 2-1 before the hosts raced back to win.
The only reason for backing Reading to take their first win of the season at 29/10 (the draw is a 5/2 chance) is that they showed flashes of their potential in a thrilling 2-2 draw with Newcastle last weekend and seem to be slowly settling into the Premier League.
However, the preference is for Swansea to get back on track with a precious triumph at the Liberty Stadium.
Recommended bet: Swansea to beat Reading @ 9/10
Outside punt: Swansea to win a game of over 3.5 goals
Long shot: Reading/Swansea in the HT/FT market @ 28/1
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