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Sir Alex Ferguson's take on a Royals side who go into this weekend four points adrift of Premier League safety. Jim Knight expects to see goals in the second half

Brian McDermott will be concerned after watching his side go down 3-2 to Wigan and following that performance up with another loss, 1-0 to fellow strugglers Aston Villa. They're understandable outsiders at 13/2 (7.50) with bet365 to win this game.

In contrast to the home side, Manchester United have now recorded back-to-back Premier League wins are despite the performances not being of top quality, they are winning matches, a trait often associated with title winning sides. They are just 2/5 (1.40) to win this game, with the draw priced at 15/4 (3.80).

Scoring goals is clearly not a problem for the Royals, they've hit 16 Premier League goals in the campaign so far.

In the bottom six places, only Southampton have scored more than their fellow promoted side this season. That should give them hope that getting something from this game is a realistic prospect.

Over 2.5 goals is a 3/5 (1.60) shot which looks a little skinny to back as a single, although could easily form part of a multiple.

More value can be found backing late drama though, the majority of the goals in Reading's games come after the half-time interval. Six of the last eight goals in Reading games have come in the second half of games.

Manchester United have become well accustomed to rallying late to win matches, often overturning a deficit to do so. Of the last 12 goals in games involving the visitors, 10 of those have been after half-time.

Based on these trends, the 4/5 (1.80) on offer for the second half to see at least two goals with Bet365 carries appeal but the Evens (2.0) available on the second half being the highest scoring looks to be the pick of the bets.

For a value bet, consider backing the 9/2 (5.50) about Javier Hernandez scoring the last goal.

The Mexico international has played himself into Sir Alex Ferguson's first team plans in the last few weeks and scoring late goals has become something of a habit for him.

United started with three forwards against West Ham on Wednesday and with Reading being poor at the back Hernandez should get chances to get a sixth Premier League goal of the campaign, even if it's from the bench.

9/2 (5.50) offers significant returns for a relatively small stake and should be backed accordingly.


BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Second half to be the highest scoring at Evens (2.0) with Bet365
Javier Hernandez last goalscorer at 9/2 (5.50) with Bet365

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Jim Knight is Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast

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