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Reading v Fulham: Royals to be sharp out of the blocks

| 26.10.2012

If Reading wish to avoid an immediate return to English football’s second tier, they had better start winning soon yet, if you can’t beat Fulham at home then you’re not good enough for the Premier League.

They were close to picking up their maiden victories of the season in the two games that preceded their Liverpool loss, but paid the price for an inability to hold onto leads. They currently share the unwanted responsibility of making sure the table stands upright with QPR, and are slight underdogs to beat the Cottagers at 7/4.

They’ll be lacking a key player in the ball-retention department as Jem Karacan is ruled out courtesy of a knee injury he sustained at Anfield, yet their Aussie keeper Adam Federici could return.

Bryan Ruiz is touch-and-go for the visitors following a groin injury he picked up on international duty, yet he is unlikely to start the game should he prove his fitness given the good run Martin Jol’s side are currently on.

They’re unbeaten in four of their last five, with their solitary loss coming in unfortunate circumstances against the champions, and have won three in this period. Their last visit to the Madejski was a profitable one too; they ran out 2-0 winners in the season which saw the Royals last relegated.

A price of 6/4 says they’ll make it two wins from two in Berkshire while the 13/2 on offer for the visitors come from behind to draw represents good value, given the Royal’s recent record.

Fulham have conceded a goal inside the first 15 minutes in three of their four Premier League clashes, which suggests Brian McDermott’s men need to start this game quickly if they are to have any chance of picking up a win. The 9/2 that says they’ll beat Mark Schwarzer before the clock denotes 15 minutes have passed is as good a price as any in this one.

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



James Middleton