Premier League new boys Reading can finally get their first win of the season this Saturday as Fulham come to the Madejski Stadium.
The Cottagers’ good start to the campaign might see them made 6/4 favourites for this one (with the draw priced at 11/5), but their away record – which has historically been an Achilles heel for the Londoners – is a little patchy so far this term.
Four points from four away games is far from disastrous, but their nine goals conceded on the road suggest Reading can trouble the visiting rearguard, especially with former Fulham striker Pavel Pogrebnyak now leading their attack.
The big Russian was a real hit during his spell on loan from Stuttgart at Craven Cottage last term and with the ‘curse of the old club’ factor always liable to strike, he could be worth a couple of quid at 8/1 to open the scoring or 5/2 to notch at any time.
Reading’s poor start to their campaign is tempered by the fact that all seven opponents they have faced to date are currently in the Premier League’s top 12 and they have often come a cropper against tough defences.
Netting two goals against Swansea and three against QPR (in the League Cup) has given a glimmer of what Reading can do against less defensive sides – and Fulham certainly fall into that category.
Their lowly league position also belies several good performances, most recently restricting Liverpool to a nervy 1-0 win at Anfield, and allows punters to cash in on the longest odds against a home win on this Saturday’s Premier League coupon.
The Royals are available at a cracking price of 9/5, which means anyone backing them with their free £20 bet after registering with bwin could pocket winnings of £56 if Brian McDermott’s men get the job done.
Despite their lack of points to date, Reading can be expected to try to beat Fulham with positive football and the statistics certainly suggest an entertaining affair is in store at the Madejski.
All four of the Cottagers’ away games to date have featured three or more goals, while the same is true of two of Reading’s three home outings. With that in mind, the 3/4 on over 2.5 goals is worthy of some solid investment if you’re looking to play it safe.
But if, like me, you fancy Reading to pick up all three points, backing the hosts to win a match with three or more goals could prove to be one of the bets of the weekend at 16/5.