Reading welcome Norwich City to the Madejski stadium on Saturday teatime as both teams look to move closer to the top six at this early stage.
The last time these sides met, at Carrow Road back in April, Norwich stormed to a 7-1 victory - a result that Reading will have fresh in their minds.
The hosts are 17/10 (2.70) with Genting to exact revenge and pick up three points but even with the best defensive record in the bottom half, the Berkshire club will find it tough against a Norwich side that have kept five straight clean sheets for the first time since joining the league in 1920.
Narrow 8/5 (2.60) favourites, the Canaries have made impressive strides at the back since conceding 12 goals in five August encounters; Christoph Zimmerman has formed a strong centre-back partnership with Timm Klose, right-back Ivo Pinto has excelled as captain while Tom Trybull has battled fearlessly in midfield.
The East Anglians have drawn two of their last four games, while Reading have shared the spoils in two of their last three matches and another tie is 12/5 (3.4). Value though could lie with opposing goals whilst backing the visitors.
Daniel Farke’s men are 9/2 (5.5) to win with under 2.5 goals, odds that imply a probability of around 18%. That eventuality - or Reading losing with under 2.5 goals - has happened in 37% of matches involving either side this season, albeit from a small sample size, but also all four of Norwich’s wins this term have come with either a 1-0 or 2-0 scoreline, including three 1-0 wins in their last five outings - the same result again is 8/1.
The Royals see on average two goals per game at either end – only Preston’s matches have been lower-scoring – and under 2.5 goals here is 10/11 (1.91); Liam Moore has continued his strong form while fellow centre-back Tiago Ilori is back in the starting line-up but the team sometimes attacks without a focal point, as noted by Jaap Stam deciding not to start an out-and-out striker in the last two games.
If they do find the net, one of the more likely scorers is Dave Edwards at 12/5 (3.4) anytime, the ex-Wolves midfielder having grabbed the goal in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Millwall.
Norwich’s top scorer, Nelson Oliveira, made an 85th minute cameo in their 1-0 win at Middlesbrough in midweek. It is debatable whether he will return to the starting line-up after injury, but if not he is likely to come off the bench at an earlier stage, which makes the 11/2 (6.5) on the 26-year-old to score last good value.
The best bet though is for the away side to keep a sixth straight clean sheet, which can be found at 12/5 (3.4) . On current form, another eight-goal encounter between these sides looks unrealistic.
|Norwich clean sheet for 1pt stake 12/5 (3.4) with Genting|