William Hill Online Help Centre Close Detach
  • Change view:

William Hill Online Sports Betting - Live Football, Horse Racing, Greyhounds, Sports & Games

Nic Ladds 8th May 2009 - 14:06

Stalemate can leave advantage with Reading

Reading are at odds of 7/4 to win and take a step towards getting their Premier League status back but have 13/10 shots Burnley standing in their way.

This season has been disappointing for The Royals as they have thrown away chance after chance to clinch automatic promotion while the reverse has been true for Burnley.

Owen Coyle has his side well organised and a shot at promotion is a huge achievement for them in a season which saw them come agonisingly close to reaching the Carling Cup final.

The sides managed a win each against each other during the season, Reading winning 3-1 at the Madjeski and Burnley 1-0 at Turf Moor and for them to share the spoils this time a draw can be backed at 21/10 in the betting.

Both sides come in to the game in reasonable form but both have been wildly inconsistent this season and it looks like it will be a case of whoever turns up on the day.

Martin Paterson is the key man for Burnley and he is 11/2 in the betting to open the scoring with Robbie Blake available at odds of 13/2 along with Steven Thompson. Graham Alexander usually has penalty responsibilities and could attract some interest at 5/1 to score anytime.

Reading meanwhile continue to rely heavily on their top scorer Kevin Doyle who will have his backers at 13/2 to open the scoring on his timely return from injury, while in-form Shane Long is 8/1 to score first or 11/4 to bag anytime, the same odds apply to Dave Kitson.

Like most play-off first leg games this could be lacking in goals, with so much at stake a cagey approach is likely from both sides, especially Reading who would happily take a draw back to the Madjeski.

Burnley don't often do defensive however and could test The Royal's defence to the limit which could mean scores like 1-0 or 2-0 to the home side at 6/1 and 9/1 respectively look possible.

A 0-0 draw is 17/2 with a 1-1 draw 5/1, while if Reading's strikers can recapture their early season form, they have the quality to punish Burnley with 2-0 and 2-1 both 11/1 and 1-0 to the away side is 13/2.

Some interesting statistics show that Burnley won their last five home games in the Championship, keeping a clean sheet in four of those, while Reading were unbeaten away in their last nine league games.

While these two teams are infuriatingly difficult to predict, the safest option could be to side with the 21/10 option of a draw.

Burnley generally go with a 'we're going to concede but will score more than they do' attitude and while Reading were lethal early season the goals dried up in the latter stages and a score draw could be the call.

This leads to thinking a double result of draw/draw at 4/1 could be the call with Burnley/draw and Reading/draw both at odds of 14/1, and the half time draw at even money could well be a good call.

In the 'to qualify' market, Reading are 8/11 with Burnley at even money and that looks fair.

The Royals have the players to cope with such expectation and a lot of the squad have played Premier League football before.

Burnley certainly have the ambition but they have had a longer, more gruelling season than Reading and it could tell come the end of the second leg at the Madjeski.

This game looks the tougher of the two and for those looking for an outright winner, the feeling is whoever wins this can go on and win promotion.

If Coppell's boys can come out of this game with even just a one-goal deficit, and it is a big if, they are fancied to enter the final, knowing that they can regain their Premier League status.

Reading to qualify - 8/11
Draw - 21/10

View Burnley v Reading betting

View all football betting

View Opta Match Facts and Statistics


View AllPlay Games


View AllNic Ladds