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Stuart Dalgleish 10th May 2009 - 12:58

Madejski misery must end if Royals are to progress

Reading are 10/11 favourites in the betting but with their current home form it doesn't look good value.

After dominating for large periods on Saturday in the first-leg Steve Coppell's team will really regret not finding a goal at Turf Moor, to make matters worse they'll be without Andre Bikey as the petulant defender was sent off for stamping on Burnley star Robbie Blake.

The Clarets will really fancy their chances of making it to Wembley now as Reading are woeful on home turf, the Royals have won twice twice all year at the Madejski and those two victories were in January. It's a remarkable contrast from the first half of the season where they lost just once in 13 home league games, including a 3-1 victory over Owen Coyle's side.

Reading will take heart from the fact that Burnley aren't great travellers though, the visitors have let in more goals on the road than relegated Southampton already this season and have only won twice away from home since the start of the year, that said those triumphs did come within the last six away matches.

Part of the reason for Burnley's indifferent away form has been the reduced amount of goals coming from Martin Paterson, the Northern Ireland international was in fine fettle at the start of the season - notching 16 goals in 35 games, but in his last 16 games the ex Scunthorpe star has only scored once, it was an all important goal though - the winner against Sheffield United. In fairness to Paterson he, and the rest of Burnley's squad, has played a lot of games this season - 57 and counting.

I think the draw looks really tempting; with Reading's nervous performances at home mixed in with the sheer amount of games that Burnley have played could lead to a really tentative game in prospect, backing the game to finish level at odds of 9/4 might prove a great investment, a 0-0 scoreline in particular is attractive looking at 17/2. As mentioned at the start Reading's price of 10/11 just isn't justified, sure they'll give it go but they're without a win in eight at the Madejski and it doesn't suggest a home banker. Burnley don't need to win and 12/5 on an away victory should be left alone.

Much like Paterson, Reading's Kevin Doyle has had a poor second half to the season, the Republic of Ireland man has only managed to find the back of the net twice in 20 games. Compare this to the first half of the campaign where he was scoring for fun with 15 goals from his first 20 league matches. If Coppell's side are to get to Wembley they'll need their number nine to find his shooting boots again - he's an 11/2 shot to open the scoring in this game. Shane Long has three goals in his last four games and will have his backers at 6/1 for the first goal.

For Burnley Graham Alexander is mister reliable from the penalty spot, the Scottish centre back has hit 11 successful spot kicks this season and could be a good shout at 12/1 for the first goal, like at the weekend. Skilful forward Robbie Blake is one goal short of reaching double figures for the season and scored the Clarets' winner in their most recent away victory at Plymouth, he's available at 8/1 for the opening goal of the evening.

Whatever the outcome of the game you can be sure of one thing, William Hill is the place to be for live betting with several in-running opportunities for you to bet on throughout the match.

Reading v Burnley - Tuesday 19:45

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