Manager Nigel Adkins blasted his Reading players after their humiliating 5-2 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday last time out.
And that dire performance, coupled with Adkins’ wake-up call, should act as enough motivation for the Royals to bounce back at the first attempt and raise their game for the visit of Harry Redknapp’s Queens Park Rangers.
The Berkshire club have only lost one of their last eight encounters at home to the Hoops and their recent form at the Madjeski Stadium supports the case for a Royals victory at odds of 17/10.
Undefeated in their previous seven matches as hosts, Reading will bid to continue the free-scoring form that’s seen them notch seven goals in their last three fixtures on home turf.
Wayne Bridge, Billy Sharp and Danny Williams could all return to bolster the Reading line-up while QPR are struggling with a growing injury list.
Midfielder Alejandro Faurlin is the latest Rangers player to find himself in the treatment room following a season-ending cruciate injury in his side’s recent victory over Derby County.
The Argentine joins Nedum Onuoha, Niko Kranjcar, Tom Carroll and Bobby Zamora on the sidelines with the visitors 8/5 to make the short journey back to west London with all three points.
Meanwhile, a draw in the corresponding game last season meant both sides suffered relegation from the Premier League, with a repeat of that outcome priced at 9/4 with Ladbrokes.
That 0-0 borefest typified the recent trend of low-scoring encounters between the pair. Only twice in their previous nine meetings have over 2.5 goals been netted with the 13/20 offered reflecting the dearth of goalmouth action.
Reading strike pair Adam Le Fondre and Pavel Pogrebnyak may have some say in reversing that pattern. Both were on target to provide their team with scant consolation in Sheffield and can be backed at 5/1 to open the scoring against their promotion rivals.
Charlie Austin is the standout selection for QPR given he’s bagged five goals in his last eight outings.
The 6/4 about the former Burnley forward to score at any time is the value pick but his efforts could be in vain if his side fail to register a first away win in their last four on the road.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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