Arsenal v Reading: Improving Gunners to shoot down Royals

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In a match crucial to both teams for hugely different reasons, top-four chasing Arsenal are heavily favoured to overcome second-bottom Reading at 1/4 at the Emirates Stadium.

And that price is understandable, given that the travelling side have not beaten their hosts in 11 attempts across all competitions.

That run includes two encounters earlier this season, but the Royals did manage a draw in 90 minutes in the League Cup, which will encourage backers of the stalemate at 5/1.

At 9/1 though, there seems little reason to confide in an away victory, even if the Reading line-up will be fired up to impress new boss Nigel Adkins.

However, there are factors that suggest Adkins’ new side will find the net in North London.

The Royals have scored seven times across two meetings with Arsenal this term, and have registered in all but two of their last 14 matches in all competitions, despite losing their last six in succession.

That considered, there may be value to be found in the 17/20 odds that both teams score, whilst Arsenal prevailing in a match where each defence is breached looks a very realistic prospect at 17/10.

And given that an incredible 19 goals have emerged from only two previous seasonal encounters of this pair, another high-scoring affair should be expected by punters.

Arsenal are 11/8 to win a match that involves more than 3.5 goals, but at a big 11/5, may prove a better bet to score four or more times, as they have done in four Emirates outings so far this term.

Punters considering placing a first scorer bet may be best-advised to look towards the forefront of the market meanwhile, where Olivier Giroud is 7/2 favourite to break the deadlock.

Giroud bagged a midweek international goal for France, and having already breached the Royals defence once this season, is likely to be well-backed to do so again with the opener.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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