Reading’s spirited approach to life back in the Premier League may have finally paid off with a 2-1 win at home to Everton last weekend, but the Royals face a stiff ask to land their second victory of the campaign at Wigan Athletic this weekend.
Just two points on the road this season – at an off-colour Swansea City side and basement club QPR – make the prospect of a Reading win at the DW Stadium pretty remote, which is reflected by odds of 13/4.
Wigan, for their part, will hope to bounce back from two defeats in a row against West Brom and Liverpool, but should the Latics recreate the form they showed before that in a 1-0 win at Tottenham, a bet on a home triumph could prove to be a bargain at 4/5.
However, a hard-fought encounter between two sides keenly chasing points to move them away from the relegation zone seems likely, which makes a price of 13/5 for a draw seem particularly appealing.
On this season’s record alone, a score draw appears a real possibility, with Reading having chalked up five already in their first 11 matches and Wigan playing out two in six home encounters.
This naturally highlights the value in backing a 1-1 result at , but considering the fact that four of the seven score draws gained by the two sides this season were 2-2 ties, a repeat scoreline at the DW Stadium looks a superb option at 12/1.
A free £20 bet is available for anyone registering with bwin today and placing this on Wigan and Reading to draw 2-2 would return an impressive £260 if successful.
In the immediate aftermath of last month’s bizarre 7-5 League Cup loss to Arsenal, most Reading fans would probably have been delighted to concede as few as two goals in a game.
But in fairness to the Royals, they have noticeably tightened up at the back after that lesson from the Gunners, even though rumours about owner Anton Zingarevich being keen to replace Brian McDermott with PSV boss Dick Advocaat refuse to go away.
Wigan, on the other hand, have conceded exactly two goals in all but one of their six home fixtures this season, making a 17/5 bet on Reading to score a pair look another excellent option.
Anyone fancying an outrageous long-odds punt this weekend could do much worse than backing Reading’s Adam Le Fondre to score first and the game to finish 2-2, which is available at 125/1.
After all, Reading have scored first in two of their five away trips this season and Le Fondre netted a brace in last weekend’s win over Everton.
However, my money will be going on that cracking 12/1 price on a 2-2 draw between two sides who are committed to attacking football but also struggle to keep clean sheets.