Reading v Chelsea: Royals to scrap for valuable point

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Brentford’s ability to hold a close-to-full-strength Chelsea to a draw proves that smoking hot Reading have nothing to fear when they host the European champions.

A fifth Royals win in as many games would see them move two points clear of the relegation zone, as well as making backers of their 11/2 match odds a very handsome profit.

Two underwhelming cup draws stretched Chelsea’s unbeaten away streak to seven, though with three straight league victories it’s easy to see why the Blues have been installed as 1/2 favourites to prevail at the Madejski.

The best match bet, however, might well be the draw at a sizeable 3/1. Rafa Benitez’s men have leaked just the solitary goal across their three-match purple patch, while Reading have only shipped two in their last four outings on their own patch.

Brian McDermott’s side have made a decent attempt at sticking to their New Year’s resolution of not conceding so many goals that they end up losing every match they play and, having been outgunned only once in January, are capable of restricting the Blues here.

This pumps a heap of value into the 6/5 offering for fewer than 2.5 goals to be scored in this contest, likewise for the 6/1 that says Chelsea won’t find the back of the Reading net.

QPR proved that a resolute back line can stifle even the fiercest of attacks when they held Manchester City to a goalless draw and there’s nothing to suggest Reading can’t do the same based on recent performances.

Assuming they can replicate the R’s survivalist qualities and bag a precious point, the total result market looks to be the place where the best value is to be had.

A price of 4/1 is available for there to be fewer than 2.5 goals registered in this clash coupled with a sharing of the spoils and it looks to be the safest way to make money out of these in-form sides.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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