Both are chasing Prem return – but will Fulham or Reading make Wembley?
Huddersfield Town, Sheffield Wednesday, Fulham and Reading are preparing to do battle in the Championship play-offs for a place in next year’s Premier League.
And over the next two days, we’ll be assessing the chances of each side doing exactly that.
Today, we’re focusing on the latter two of that quartet. Reading finished the campaign in fine form and leapfrogged this trio into third place in the table following a run of seven victories from their final nine games of the season.
But it’s actually Fulham, who finished the year in sixth place, who head into the play-offs as favourites – and here’s why…
Fulham – 17/10 to win the play-offs
Without any doubt, the Cottagers have been one of the most exciting sides to watch in the Championship this year.
No side in the division scored more than them over 46 matches, with Slavisa Jokanovic’s men registering a staggering 85 league goals.
Only Newcastle United lost fewer games than Fulham this season, so they’ll certainly be a tough nut for Reading to crack over two legs.
They hammered the Royals 5-0 at Craven Cottage back in October, although they did lose 1-0 in the reverse fixture.
Finding the net hasn’t been a problem of late for Fulham. They’ve scored in their last 17 Championship games, and you’d fancy them to go all out and bag a few in the two upcoming fixtures.
Reading – 5/1 to win the play-offs
Get through two tricky legs against Fulham, and those odds will drop substantially.
That goes without saying, but it’s worth noting Reading have been consistent all season. However, that being said, they’ve relied heavily on veteran forward Yann Kermorgant. He’s netted an impressive 18 goals this campaign, making this his most prolific season in professional football.
That’s including nine goals in as many games at the tail end of the season, so Fulham will have to keep their wits about them if they’re to keep the Frenchman at bay.
This is somewhat unfamiliar territory though for the Royals in recent years – and new boss Jaap Stam has had a huge part to play in that.
Prior to his appointment, Reading had finished 19th and 17th in their last two seasons in the Championship following relegation from the top-flight.
Does this side have enough about them to complete a return to the big time? We’ll find out over the coming weeks.
Of course, only one of these two sides can progress, but who do you think will do it?
Let us know in the comments section below!
Click here for a full list of Championship odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing