Reading have had a tough start to the 2018-19 season. Paul Clement's side have picked up just two points in five Championship matches but those back-to-back draws did come in their most recent outings against Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers respectively.
The Royals face Premier League Watford on Wednesday evening at the Madejski Stadium with 888Sport making the home side 39/11 (4.55) underdogs.
Without the benefit of team news, it's tough to know where the value lies in these Carabao Cup clashes from a match odds perspective. Watford boast a perfect record of three wins from their top-flight games so far but both coaches are expected to make changes to their starting line-ups.
One angle that looks to offer some value is over 2.5 goals at 4/5 (1.80) with 888Sport. Reading have improved going forward of late but still have plenty of defensive questions to answer.
Clement shuffling his pack is unlikely to help the defensive side but a 2-0 win over Birmingham City in the previous round bodes well for this tie going forward, even with changes in personnel.
The Expected Goals (xG) metric also suggest that the Royals have been somewhat unlucky to have only scored three times thus far. Their xG figure from the first five league games is at 5.93 so if they can continue to create a similar quality of chances, an improvement should be expected in attack. You can find out more about Expected Goals here.
Javi Gracia can call upon the likes of Gerard Deulofeu and Nathaniel Chalobah as he looks to rotate after the weekend win over Crystal Palace. Historically, Watford haven't fared well in this competition though, they've lost each of their last four League Cup games - all of which came under different managers.
For the hosts, this is an opportunity to play without the pressure of their disappointing league start hanging over them and that freedom could yield some encouragement in the final third.
The 2-0 win in the previous round was a good performance but having failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their five league matches this term, it's logical to expect Watford to have some success in attack, especially with the depth of their squad.
Odds correct at the time of publish