A glance at the early odds for next year’s Championship title shows just how wide open the league looks, prior to the rife transfer activity that is sure to ensue over the summer.
But Reading are a side that appear way overpriced for the divisional crown at 10/1, with Nigel Adkins having had the latter stages of their ill-fated Premier League tenure to find his feet at the Madejski Stadium.
Signs began to appear towards the back end of the season that the Royals were warming to Adkins’ attractive philosophy, with six goals stemming from their final two away outings of the campaign.
And with a full close-season to iron out his squad, chop and change, and further impose his ideas upon a very capable mixture of top-flight and second-tier performers, Reading seem destined to be there or thereabouts come the end of next season.
Anything less than a top-six finish will be considered a monumental failure by the Royals hierarchy, and indeed, by Adkins himself.
But the former physio’s record throughout his relatively brief managerial career suggests that he will serve only to impress in the coming season.
Indeed, in four of his six seasons at the helm of clubs in England’s second or third tiers, Adkins has achieved promotion, via automatic means on three of those occasions.
And as Reading have stormed to the league title both times they have won promotion to the Premier League, the nous of a proven boss such as Adkins could aid them in doing so again.
Funded by Russian billionaire Anton Zingarevich and in an extremely sound overall financial position, the Royals are under little pressure to sell their best players, and can offer Adkins significant funds to strengthen his playing squad this summer too.
And so all things considered, they look huge at 10/1 to claim a third Championship title in the last seven years, with that price unlikely to remain available for too long.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.