Rank outsiders to reach the FA Cup final, with 11/1 offered on Reading beating Arsenal in 90 minutes, the Royals will nevertheless go into Saturday’s Wembley encounter looking to upset the odds – and they could yet surprise.
Boasting a squad featuring plenty in the way of familiar faces for fans of the Premier League, the Berkshire club may have failed to challenge for promotion this season but it’s proven to be largely plain-sailing for the same team in the FA Cup.
Arsenal, meanwhile, go into this game in fine form and will be expected to progress with ease.
Yet with the Gunners prone to their fair share of gaffs over the years, we’ve come up with five reasons why it could pay to back Reading.
It’s been a season of big FA Cup upsets
Bradford’s 4-2 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge coupled with Middlesbrough’s 2-0 win over Manchester City have already ensured this will be a season remembered for major shocks in the FA Cup and Reading will be hoping to harness the same fighting spirit in London this weekend.
The Yak Attack flies against the Gunners
Brought to the Madejski on a free transfer until the end of the season back in February, Yakubu Aiyegbeni has already scored a decisive goal for Reading in the FA Cup this term against Derby and has scored five goals in six starts against Arsenal, which bodes well for the Royals.
Wigan went close at Wembley last year
The Gunners may have ended a nine-year trophy drought with the FA Cup last season but they were put through their paces in the semi-final by Championship outfit Wigan, who led for much of the game before succumbing in a penalty shoot-out after it ended 1-1 in 90 minutes.
Few Arsenal clean sheets away from Emirates
With Reading boosted from 3/1 to 4/1 to open the scoring at Wembley, backing the Royals makes sense against an Arsenal side that has looked defensively dodgy away from the Emirates. The Gunners have failed to take clean sheets in 11 of their last 15 games away from home.
Reading have been waiting for this game
Highly unlikely to get sucked into the Championship relegation quagmire but miles away from mounting any kind of play-off push, Reading’s entire season rests on this game with Arsenal, with the Royals likely to approach the encounter like a cup final.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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