Reading v Southampton: Adkins can get something off former club
This is certainly a fixture that Nigel Adkins would have decided before the start of the campaign that he could ill afford to lose and even if now he is in charge of the opposite team than he would have expected to be, he can get a positive result.
Adkins only lost two of his final 12 games in the Saints dugout to help their climb towards safety and in the midst of this run was a 1-0 victory over Reading at St Mary’s.
With Reading losing six on the spin in the top-flight, some punters will be keen to get stuck into Southampton completing the double at 5/4.
The fact that the Saints have already beaten Aston Villa and QPR, the other two teams currently in the relegation places with Reading, away this season only offers another positive to them gaining three more points towards safety.
However, it is worth noting that Mauricio Pochettino’s three victories since replacing Adkins have all come against sides prepared to attack them in Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Reading are likely to be the opposite in terms of dropping off and getting players behind the ball rather than pressing and leaving too much space, which may cause Southampton to have to adapt slightly.
Meanwhile, with Adkins having a sound knowledge of all of the starters on the Saints books, he must have a fair idea on where weaknesses are that can be exposed, even if Pochettino’s set-up is slightly different.
This suggests that Adkins is capable of taking a first point as Reading manager and 5/2 looks the best price in the match betting market that this Madejski clash is a draw.
Alternatively, punters can get 2/1 that Adkins really makes a point to his former board by winning this fixture for the second time this season.
Given that Reading have conceded the opener on the most occasions in the Premier League this season and that only five sides have struck first in games more than Southampton, the 4/5 that the visitors break the deadlock may be another shrewd investment.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.