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Bottling Reading great value for Premier League relegation

| 29.10.2012

Reading squandered yet another potential three points in their 3-3 draw with Fulham, meaning their search for a maiden Premier League win of the campaign continues.

Their price to be relegated is now into 7/10 and, with the rate at which the Royals are blowing opportunities for reprieve, it’s easy to envisage this price shrinking further still in the coming weeks.

A lot will rest on their next two games, as they prepare to face two relegation rivals – QPR away and Norwich at home – and successive defeats is likely to leave them adrift at the foot of the table.

The onus on them to go and win two on the trot would not be as strong had they held on to a couple of the winning positions they’ve held in three of their last four, only to end up drawing.

This inability to hold onto leads, especially in games that would have been deemed winnable prior to kick-off, will be worrying Brian McDermott – who, incidentally, remains a generous 16/1shot to be the next Premier League manager to ousted from his post.

As the cliché will tell you, scoring goals is the hardest thing to do in football, so when you’re putting the ball in the back of the net, the last thing you need is lapses at the other end of the pitch undoing all the good work.

This is no more relevant than in the case of newly promoted clubs, but Reading have scored seven times in their last four – more than Arsenal have managed – yet they’ve shipped eight. This has left them with three points from 12, when they could, if not should, have had so much more.

What’s more demoralising for Royals’ players and fans alike is that half of these goals against have come in the final 15 minutes of matches.

This is an issue that requires hasty eradication if they want to avoid an immediate return to the Championship as, had they not buckled in the closing stages in these instances, they’d be sitting six points clear of the drop zone in 12th place, as opposed to joint-second bottom.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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Author

James Middleton