This weekend Reading make the short trip to West London to take on recently relegated Fulham. Fulham have struggled this season and currently sit in 17th spot, after sacking Felix Magath earlier this season, replacing him with Kit Symons. After a good start with the new boss, Fulham have faltered in recent weeks and have not won a game over the Xmas period, their last win coming at home to Sheffield Weds (December 20th).
Last weekend saw Bookie Watch pick up one winning bet with under 1.5goals coming in as hoped. With the domination of Middlesbrough, the judge of the game was correct, and only a wonderful Adam Federici performance managed to keep them at bay.
This weekend, Fulham can be backed at 2.55 which is a strong price for them at home. However, the recent upswing in fortunes at the Madejski has left Reading as slight outsiders at 3.00. The draw is available at 3.50, with bookmakers slightly favouring the men from West London. Given the respective form, Reading look a solid bet this week, the last two games have seen them keep 2 clean sheets against Championship strikers, and with Fulham not scoring in 5 of their last 6, I think Clarke will get his men to keep it tight against Fulham also.
Ross McCormack the £11M man for Leeds United has also struggled this season to gain any traction with only five goals in the league so far. He has been found to be playing off the striker, but is favourite for FGS this weekend at 7.00. Rodallega and Woodrow are the main men up front, with 9 and 2 goals respectively. Rodallega looks a safe bet for a few £ at 8.00. On the Reading front, with Reading running out of options up front, Pogrebnyak playing up top on his own leaves little to the imagination in terms of playing style, and he can be backed at 8.5. However, I feel the smarter money is to be on one of Reading’s wide men this weekend, likely to be Jamie Mackie (10.00) and also Robson Kanu at 15.00, with them attempting to put plenty of crosses into the box.
For correct score, I personally cannot see past 1-0 Reading this weekend if we are to claim a victory. The lack of firepower means goals are going to be hard to come by this season from now on, and a one goal advantage against a very out of form Fulham side (drawing 3-3 AET in the cup away to Wolves aside), should be enough to gain victory against them this weekend, if their form continues. This can be backed at 11.50.
1. Reading to win @ 3.00 - Reading have certainly improved under Steve Clarke in recent weeks, and having picked up a point at home to high flying Middlesbrough on the back of the cup win away to Huddersfield, will feel confident going to a Fulham team who are very out of sorts.
2. Reading to win 1-0 @ 11.50 - Lack of firepower is going to really harm Reading this season if the defence does not remain stout and tight at the back. A 1-0 lead is going to be something Reading work very hard to protect, and 11.50 shows good value this weekend with Fulham not having scored in 5 of their last 6 games.
3. Rodallega to score first at 8.50 - I don’t think you can ignore the quality Rodallega brings to the Fulham team, and if anyone is likely to score first for them, it’ll be a ball through the middle I think which splits the defence. This would be ideal for Rodallega, who is a very good finisher at Championship level, and 8.50 represents slight value for him this weekend.
As ever, if you are placing a bet, on Reading, or otherwise this weekend, good luck!