Reading head to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday afternoon to take on Stoke City looking to extend an unbeaten run of six games that has seen them climb out of the relegation zone and move into the fifth round of the FA Cup.
The Royals have gained ten points from a possible 12 in their last four Premier League games and in each match they have come from behind, scoring a remarkable seven times in the last 15 minutes.
Much of the praise for this recent run has to be handed to their quiet and unassuming manager, Brian McDermott, who has always said that he has faith in his team’s ability to get themselves out of trouble and now everyone else is starting to believe him.
On the pitch, the star has been former Rotherham striker Adam Le Fondre, who has struck ten times to make himself the club’s top scorer, despite not always being a guaranteed starter.
The poacher is responsible for five of the nine goals that Reading have scored in the past four games and every single one of them has come as a substitute.
We’ve also been in decent form when providing tips on the Berkshire club’s games, correctly calling their 2-1 win over Sunderland last time out after successfully backing them to get a result against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and providing a 6/5 winner for their victory at Newcastle.
Yet despite their recent heroics, Reading still find themselves as 333/100 underdogs this weekend thanks to Stoke’s impressive home record, which has seen them lose only once in front of their faithful supporters this term.
Stoke themselves are a short 4/5 to end a six-game winless streak that stretches back to Boxing Day, but for me, the better option is the 5/2 offered on the game ending as a draw.
The Potters are the Premier League’s draw specialists, with 12 to their name already this season, matching their total from last year with 13 games still to play.
One of those 12 games was the first meeting between these two teams on the opening day of the season, when they drew 1-1 thanks to yet another late Le Fondre goal and the forward is 9/1 to score the final goal of the game on Saturday.
McDermott’s side have also been involved in their fair share of stalemates, with a further seven coming after that tie with the Potters.
So, with a draw seemingly on the cards at the Britannia, recent results would suggest that Reading will earn their point by coming from behind.
With that in mind, my top bet is 7/4 on the away side to score the final goal of the match, which would return £55 for new customers successfully backing it with their free £20 bet after registering.
While the draw offers the better price, this option is preferable because it does not necessarily hinge on the result of the game and is firmly supported by the recent trends – so that’s where my money will be going.