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This basement battle at the Stadium of Light between Sunderland and Reading is huge for both sides, but Jamie Dickenson is backing the Black Cats to come out on top at home

Sunderland have slipped into the Premier League relegation zone after a bleak run of just one victory in 10 games.

The Black Cats have picked up just a point from four matches, but Martin O’Neill’s side will be hopeful of securing the maximum available against fellow strugglers Reading.

The hosts have not been particularly strong at the Stadium of Light this campaign, but will be itching to get out of the bottom three with a win that is priced at 21/20 (2.05) with Paddy Power.

The Royals are placed just one spot below Sunderland in 19th, but the four-point gap between the two teams could be set to widen given Reading’s terrible away form.

Brian McDermott’s side are yet to win on the road this season, and at 14/5 (3.80) they aren’t hugely fancied by the bookies to break their duck here.

The tendency of these two outfits to draw games is high - with 13 stalemates produced from their combined 30 league games so far this term - meaning it is hard to rule out another stalemate at 23/10 (3.30).

But Martin O’Neill was bullish after the defeat to Chelsea that he is the right man for the job on Wearside, and will have his team fired up to win for only their third time in the league in 2012/13.

Key striker Steven Fletcher is set to miss out through injury, which will only add to the Black Cats task, who are also without captain Lee Cattermole.

But in Stephane Sessegnon, Sunderland possess a potential match-winner, and he is worth a flutter to add to his two strikes in November with a goal against Reading.

The Benin international can be backed at 6/1 (7.00) and is the insurebet in the first goalscorer market (which means if someone else scores first but Sessegnon scores later, the stake is refunded).

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Sunderland to win at 21/20 (2.05) with Paddy Power
Stephane Sessegnon to score first (insurebet) at 6/1 (7.00) with Paddy Power

Jamie Dickenson is a 22-year-old freelance journalist who specialises in football, sports and betting. More of his work can be found here - and you can also follow Jamie on

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