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Nic Ladds 8th Jan 2009 - 18:15

Royals can squash The Hornets

Brendan Rodgers and Watford will be delighted to see referee Stuart Atwell is nowhere to be seen at the Madjeski stadium.

Last time these two sides met Atwell awarded Reading a bizarre goal that never was and Watford could do with that kind of help as they find themselves 5/1 underdogs in the betting.

Reading are 4/9 favourites and have made the Madjeski stadium an absolute fortress in the league, winning 10 of their 13 matches and losing just one.

Steve Coppell rested several of his first team players in the 2-0 FA Cup loss to Cardiff and they will be ready to return to the front-line.

The Royals will be hoping they don't have to rely on goalkeeper Adam Federici to bail them out of trouble again after his 96th minute goal against Cardiff in their last league game.

Kevin Doyle has been in scintillating form this season and is sure to make Watford's leaky defence work hard all evening and will be popular at odds of 7/2 to score first.

Noel Hunt whose wayward shot sparked the controversy in the last game is 4/1 to bag the first real goal this time with his brother Stephen at 7/1.

Reading are extremely tight at the back having only shipped eight goals all season and this has inflated the odds of a lot of Watford players to score first.

Grzegorz Rasiak has been threatening to come back to form and both he and Tamas Priskin are available at 9/1 to score first.

The highly rated John-Joe O'Toole provides much of Watford's attacking inspiration and has bagged his fair share of goals from midfield and is nicely priced at 5/1 to score anytime.

One thing you usually get with Reading at home is goals. Reading score a lot of them and Watford concede a lot of them and odds of 4/6 on over two match goals looks a certainty.

This is a fixture Reading should win easily as they continue their pursuit up the Championship of Wolves and score lines of 2-0 at 9/2 and 3-0 at 9/1 to the Berkshire side look realistic.

If Watford can make an impact early on and get an early goal then the draw at 11/4 looks a possibility but Reading are so prolific at home they will do well to shut them out for any length of time in this game.

Reading to win both halves at 2/1 looks a cracking bet as half their team will be fresh having been rested for the FA Cup and Coppell has made the league his top priority.

As a result the Royals should ensure Wolves are checking nervously over their shoulders' for the rampaging Reading machine hot-footing it after them.

Reading to win both halves - 2/1
Reading to win 3-0 - 9/1

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