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Rich 16th Dec 2012 - 22:01

Beleaguered Royals out to avoid Gunners’ backlash – Betting Preview

In 2008, Derby County were relegated having only picked up one win in what was a terrible season. Along with them that season, Reading also faced the drop, but after four years, they returned this summer, with the buoyancy and excitement you would expect from a newly-promoted team, yet as we approach the halfway point in this Premier League season, the Royals find themselves in an eerily similar position as Derby that year.

Brian McDermott has rebuilt his Reading team over the past few years, yet even with that history, is not safe from losing his job in the next few weeks. His team has looked remarkably poor at times, especially when playing away from the Madejski Stadium, yet the visit of Arsenal could provide the inspiration they have seemingly lacked since September. Having watched Bradford City embarrass the Gunners in last week's Capital One Cup Quarter Final will also give Reading hope, and with Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak returning for the Berkshire team, McDermott can take some hope into this clash.

After QPR won their first game of the season on Saturday, the Royals now find themselves bottom of the table, and will look to young striker Adam Le Fondre to net his 5th of the season, and as such, we have enhanced the price of Le Fondre to score in a Reading win to 9/1 (from 11/2).

For Arsene Wenger a six day rest prompted him to play a full team last week at Valley Parade, but after missing out on a League Cup semi-final through a lost penalty shoot-out, the Arsenal boss can now turn his attentions to the Premier League over a hetic Christmas schedule. This Monday night clash represents a must-win game for the Gunners who currently find themselves 5 points behind their rivals Tottenham in 4th. The pack of 10 teams from 3rd to 12th in the league are are separated by only seven points, and the race for the final Champions League spot may well go down to the wire, but Arsenal will provide a great challenge to any and all who take them on.

To get that win, the north Londoners may well rely again on pacy English winger Theo Walcott who has already netted into double figures this year, yet it is the dynamic Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla that has seen his price enhanced to score in an Arsenal win, from 5/2 to 4/1.

Coverage of this game is on Sky Sports 1, and kicks-off at 20:00, and we offer a wide range of markets both pre-match and in-play, so stay with William Hill - the Home of Betting.

Best Bet: Arsenal -1 - 8/5

Worth a Punt: Arsenal 2-0 - 17/2



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