For Reading and QPR, their clash on Saturday could mark the end of a brief and fairly unenjoyable stay in the Premier League as their top-flight futures hang by the tiniest thread.
So bad is the situation for both sides that bwin are no longer taking money on them surviving and the only way that either can avoid relegation this weekend is if their contest at the Madejski Stadium ends in a draw and Aston Villa lose against Sunderland on Monday evening.
However, a victory for Villa will confirm both teams’ return to the Championship no matter the result on Saturday.
The situation, then, for both Reading and QPR is perilous and in all honesty, even if they manage to survive for another week it would take a minor miracle for either of them to stay up given that they are both ten points adrift of safety with only four games to play.
In truth, relegation for both sides has seemed inevitable for a number of weeks thanks to their terrible form. Reading have failed to win since February 2nd and have claimed one solitary point in the following ten games, while Rangers have secured just one point from their last five matches.
All this does not bode well for a high-class game of football on Saturday afternoon, but it is likely to be tense and full of drama as both sides give it one last throw of the dice.
As such, the outcome is difficult to predict, but it is the home side who are slight favourites at 29/20 to seal a victory, whereas QPR are 17/10 to grab just their third away win of the campaign, with the draw priced at 12/5.
They might be the favourites, but the mood among Nigel Adkins’ Reading squad can’t be brilliant given their awful form, the only bright spot in recent weeks being the 0-0 draw with Liverpool secured by Alex McCarthy’s brilliance in goal.
The Royals might need the young keeper to be at his best once more against Rangers as one of the key aspects of this run of poor results has been a lack of goals.
Reading haven’t scored more than once since their last win over two months ago and have only scored twice in the four games since Adkins took over.
You can find 6/4 on Reading scoring once, but those odds jump up to 13/5 if you think they will score twice.
If you want to bet on the Berkshire club hitting the back of the net, then you would be better off taking 8/5 on them scoring more in the second half than the first as they have produced nine more goals after the interval in their home games than before it.
Rangers have fared slightly better in front of goal lately, despite drawing blanks in their past two defeats, thanks to Harry Redknapp’s attacking line-ups.
The Hoops have scored ten in their last seven matches and are a very short 1/4 to get on the scoresheet at the Madejski.
Pivotal to this relative rush of goals has been January signing Loic Remy, who has scored four goals since the beginning of March, including a stunning strike against Wigan.
The Frenchman, who will surely move on in the summer given his performances for Rangers, is at 17/10 to score in this match.
New customers registering with bwin today can claim a free £20 bet and placing this on the former Marseille man to notch would return a cool £54 if successful.
And with a clash between two such evenly-matched teams being so hard to call, it makes sense to swerve other options in favour of backing the form horse in Remy.
The 17/10 is enticing enough for this punter and that is where my money will be going.