Reading v West Ham: Breather to benefit Hammers

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Sam Allardyce will have welcomed West Ham’s postponed Boxing Day fixture with Arsenal as it will have given many of his injured stars some added recovery time in the congested festive schedule.

Reading stopped the rot of seven straight defeats in their goalless draw with Swansea last time out, but the extra rest afforded to the Hammers will see them inflict yet more misery on the struggling Berkshire side, an outcome which can be backed at 8/5.

The Royals did the double over their next adversaries when both were plying their trade in the Championship last season, winning 3-0 when they clashed at the Madejski, and will be boosted by the fact that they have only lost one of their four Premier League matches against them.

They too are priced up at 8/5 to record what would be a much-cherished victory but the goal markets are a much safer way to make some money.

Prior to their Yuletide stalemate with the Swans, the home crowd at Reading had witnessed an insane 50 goals in 10 games across two competitions but, while they can’t knock the entertainment value of their tickets, they’ve seen their side win just twice.

Their two games that preceded Boxing Day with Manchester United and Arsenal produced seven apiece so it’s obviously worth having a dabble on there being over 3.5 goals scored here at 2/1 or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, have a dance with the 9/2 on offer for there to be over 4.5 goals scored.

West Ham have lost every game in which they have gone behind this season away from Upton Park so the first goal will be crucial here. With this in mind, Reading will be desperate to be the ones who score it and a price of 19/20 is on offer for them to do so, with the visitors similarly priced at 20/21 to break the deadlock.

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

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