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P.J. Murray 12th Apr 2012 - 15:07

Who is Reading to the Prem?

The top two in the Championship clash under Friday night lights as the race for promotion enters the final straight.

Reading have been the nearly men the last few years while Southampton's rise through the divisions has been nothing short of amazing. Finishing second in League One the Saints are now on the precipice of a Premier League return.

Saints striker Rickie Lambert may believe that the result of this game will not decide the winner and technically he is right, but it will certainly go a long way. We except him to play a pivotal role in the game and we are offering a Match Winner that he goes on to score anytime and Southampton win at 5/2 from 2/1.

A 2-0 win for Southampton over Palace got their promotion bid back on track as they faltered against Portsmouth and Blackpool. Reading on the other hand are finishing strong and have won four on the bounce, the most impressive being a 2-4 drubbing of the pre-season favourites West Ham at Upton Park. It's no surprise that in the form guides Reading are top of the table.

The Irish spine to Reading has really come to the forefront recently, ex Leeds player Ian Harte has been instrumental with his setpieces and deserves one last shot at Premier League football. Noel Hunt has chipped in with vial goals as well.

Southampton (5/4) have only lost twice at home in the league so far this season, Reading (11/5) have been beaten six times away from home and it's this form which seen them unable to take a lead over Saints.

Form and consistency plays such a massive part in this time of the season that I feel this is Reading's to lose, the 11/5 about the visitors looks quite tasty. They are 6/10 double chance, Reading and the draw.

Adam Le Fondre is the top scorer for the visitors but Reading haven't been overly reliant on one or two players, their whole squad is chipping in for the big push. Le Fondre is 7/1 to open the scoring and 2/1 to hit the net anytime.

Both sides have been defensively sound in their recent outings and this will be won by a single goal and I fancy that to be for the visitors. You can back a handicap draw Southampton (+1 goal) vs Reading (-1) at 15/4 for some added value.


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