Again, this article gets ripped up with the news that Brighton have let Sami Hyypia resign, leaving them under the guise of caretaker manager Nathan Jones for the game against Reading on Friday.
Last weekend saw Clarke in his first managerial game for Reading with a 1-0 loss vs. 10 man Watford. Some interesting notes from that game betting wise were that Reading threw Jake Cooper up front for the final 10 minutes to try and get Reading back in the game. Potential for last goalscorer bets in future especially if Reading are behind late on. Clarke seems prepared to lob balls to a big man up top if he has to, which has lucrative potential if bookmakers don't cotton onto this. Last weekend saw Bookie Watch get 2/3 recommended bets correct as 0-0 at half time came in, whilst Watford came out victorious at full time
Brighton have been poor this season and currently sit in the bottom three coming into the game this week hosting Reading. Last weekend they also played 10 men, as they drew 1-1 away at Wolves. Brighton can be found at a best price of 2.2 this weekend, to me this seems incredibly short for a side who've only won two home games so far this season. Reading can be found at 3.7 this weekend, and I think Clarke will be working with the squad to try and push on from the strong defensive performance shown against Watford last weekend. 1-0 Reading looks an attractive proposition against a Brighton side who haven't lost by more than 1 goal at home this season yet. This can be found at 11.5 for the match on Friday.
I will also take a very small stake on Jake Cooper being LGS at 41.0, this is purely due to the way Clarke threw him on at the end of last weekend, and if we are behind, I can see him trying anything and everything to not lose a huge six pointer.
Glenn Murray had a few glorious chances last weekend to open the scoring, and I think if Reading can continue to create as many chances, he will tuck one away against Brighton and can be found at 9.00 to be FGS on Friday, since Murray left Brighton he has scored 3 in 5 against them. Blackman also had a few good chances, and if he starts may be worth a small look at his current price of 11.00.
1) Reading to win @ 3.7 - Reading have had time to work with Clarke this week, and Brighton are heavily under priced this week having won just 1/18 in the league, they are un-backable.
2) Reading to win 1-0 @ 11.5 - Low goal scoring seems to be a trend this season with Reading, and a clean sheet will be vital to keeping Clarke and his defence confident coming into New Year.
3) Murray FGS @ 9.00 - Murray has scored 3 in 5 against his former club and had plenty of chances last weekend against Watford to get another one on the board, and he will be keen to net against his old club.
Good luck to all those Reading fans having a bet this Christmas, may it be both a merry, and successful one for all you punters and Reading fans out there alike!