Reading v Aston Villa: Enthusiastic Royals to edge six-pointer
Despite losing their last four matches consecutively in all competitions, Reading still enjoy 13/10 favouritism to beat Aston Villa at the Madejski Stadium.
And regardless of results emanating from the most recent meetings between the pair, the Royals could be worth investment.
Brian McDermott’s side have lost only one home game against lower-half opposition so far this term, and will be fired up for this vital clash.
All too often this season Villa have crumbled in pressure games, with the Capital One Cup semi-final versus Bradford a prime example, and they could be set for more misery here.
Backers of the 21/10 Villains will take heart from their four successive league triumphs over Reading though, but it should be noted that only one of those victories came within the past five years.
And as such, even if they do gain an advantage at some point in this tie, recent trends suggest that the Royals will never be out of the game.
In three of their last four away games in all competitions, Villa have taken the lead only to surrender it, with two draws and two defeats eventually emanating from these clashes.
Punters can have 23/20 about Villa scoring first, but backing the hosts to come from behind to win or draw the match can prove a shrewder punt at 19/5.
Another solid-looking bet is the 29/10 that the visitors open the scoring, before Reading notch the final goal of the game.
McDermott’s charges have developed a habit of hitting late goals, with an astonishing nine of their last 11 league strikes coming in the final 15 minutes of matches.
The Royals can be backed to score between the 75th minute and full-time at a hugely appealing 2/1 here.
And the player responsible for the majority of those recent late goals, Adam Le Fondre, is a 6/1 shot to close the scoring in this game too.
Often utilised from the bench, Le Fondre has five goals in his last seven league appearances, with all but one of those coming in the closing 15 minutes of matches.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.