Following a good run of form in the Championship, Reading’s hopes of securing immediate promotion back to the Premier League have been boosted by the arrival of Billy Sharp on loan.
It has proved to be an ill-fated move to Southampton for Sharp, who despite scoring a flurry of goals to push Saints towards Championship promotion in 2011/12, was subsequently shipped out on loan to Nottingham Forest after making just two Premier League appearances last season.
Nevertheless, after Sharp proved his Championship goal-scoring credentials yet again last season – notching 11 league goals for Forest – Nigel Adkins has been extremely keen to be reunited with the striker at Reading, beating a whole host of other clubs to his signature.
Although the loan deal is set at three months, this could prove a significant acquisition to the Royals ranks, who are currently priced at 10/1 to win the title, as they did the last time they were in the division.
As his name would suggest, the former Doncaster, Sheffield United and Scunthorpe man is always alive to chances in the box and boasting a record of having hit double figures at his level for four straight seasons, he can only improve Reading’s chances of promotion.
The Berkshire club now sit eighth after a hugely impressive 3-1 win over Derby at Pride Park on their last appearance and are only five points off the pace being set by QPR at the summit.
Sharp may have to wait his turn to be involved however, as Reading’s Pavel Pogrebnyak swiftly made up for his red card against Brighton by grabbing a brace in that win over Derby.
Meanwhile, Premier League super sub Adam Le Fondre has been relishing a starting role, notching three in as many starts, but hasn’t shaken the label completely when coming off the bench to grab a 90th-minute winner against Leeds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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