St Mary’s plays host to this weekend’s big relegation six-pointer as Reading head to Southampton seeking their first away win of the season.
The Royals will be up against it given the improved fortunes of Nigel Adkins’ men in recent weeks and their odds of 11/4 for the win suggests they could be in for a long afternoon on the south coast.
The hosts can be had at 1/1, while the draw is even more favourable than the away win at 21/10.
Defending has been a prominent thorn in both of these teams’ sides this season, though the Saints have substantially improved at the back in recent weeks, shipping just four goals in their last five outings that have seen them pick up two wins and two draws.
The same cannot be said of Reading’s back line who seem to be doing their utmost to undo the sterling effort of their attacking players by leaking a goal and the rest for every one they score.
Eight have flown by Adam Federici in the last three games to counteract the five they’ve managed at the other end. Backing over 3.5 goals in this one has an excellent chance of copping and the price of 7/4 will ensure a decent profit.
Their enthralling 4-3 reverse at the hands of Manchester United last weekend represented the sixth time this season that Brian McDermott’s Royals have squandered points from a winning position.
Had they held on to a few more of these points they would be sitting in a far prettier position than the doldrums of the Premier League.
This doesn’t make for enjoyable reading material for Reading fans, but it does make the 7/1 that says Southampton will come from behind to draw, or the 8/1 for them to do the same and win some very tempting bets.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date