The last time Southampton and Reading faced each other the match was built-up as a Championship title decider. Now, just eight months later, the teams reignite their rivalry but in an entirely different scenario, with Saturday’s Premier League clash a crunch relegation six-pointer.
Both sides have struggled on their return to the top flight, with just three points separating 18th-placed Saints from Reading in 19th. However, the hosts performances have improved somewhat in recent weeks and Paddy Power have installed them as the 10/11 favourites to claim their fourth win of the season, while Reading can be backed at 3/1 to come away with the three points. Alternatively a draw could be the way to go at 5/2.
Southampton's four-match unbeaten run came to an end last weekend when they were defeated 1-0 by Liverpool. However, with recent wins against QPR and Newcastle under their belt the south coast side will be confident of collecting all three points at home to a Reading side who have failed to win on the road this season.
Reading have endured some difficult-to-take defeats of late, losing by a single goal to Man Utd, Aston Villa and Wigan. Their enthralling 4-3 loss to Utd last Saturday means they have won just one of their 14 matches this season. Their away form has been particularly poor, with Brian McDermott’s men registering two points from seven matches.
The Saints have lost only one of their last six matches at St Mary's, although three of those games have ended with the honours shared. Nigel Adkins’ men were held to 1-1 draws by Swansea and Norwich at St Mary's last month and the same scoreline could be worth a punt at a tempting 6/1 in Saturday’s match.
Meanwhile Paddy Power Bookmakers have the Hampshire side available at 7/1 to record a 2-1 win, while they could be worth backing at 4/1 to win with one or two goals in the match.
Recent defeats to fellow struggler Aston Villa and Wigan means Reading must now take something from their upcoming trips to Southampton and Sunderland, otherwise they could find themselves well adrift of safety come Christmas. They will view Saturday’s trip to St Mary’s as an ideal opportunity to escape with a result, with a 1-0 win available at 12/1.
The Royals will no doubt be disappointed with the defeat to United considering that they led twice. However, they can draw confidence from scoring three goals and on top of that they are also unbeaten in three against the Saints, recording a classy 3-1 victory in last season’s meeting. They can be backed to win again at 7/1 with three or four goals in the game.
Saturday’s match has the potential for goals as it brings together the Premier League's two worst defences. But, both teams have proved themselves more than capable of scoring, with the Saints bagging 21 and Reading firing in 19. Two or three goals is available at an evens bet, while four or more can be found at 7/4.
Saints dominate the first goalscorer market, with top talisman Rickie Lambert leading the way with odds of 5/1. The striker has six goals to his name this season and can be backed at 13/10 to score anytime. Adam Lallana is well worth a bet at 9/1 to score the opener, while Gaston Ramirez is available at 6/1.
Adam Le Fondre grabbed a brace the last time the teams met and with three goals in his last four games he looks a decent bet at 9/1 to grab the first goal of the game. Meanwhile, with two in three the in-form Sean Morrison is an excellent price at 22/1 to open the scoring and 15/2 to score anytime.
Southampton v Reading Form
Check the season's statistics for both Southampton and Reading, plus the odds ahead of Saturday's match.
Southampton Stats | Reading Stats
Southampton v Reading Tips
Tip#1: Adam Lallana to score first @ 9/1 with Paddy Power
Tip#2: Southampton to win 2-1 @ 11/1 with Paddy Power
Tip#3: Sean Morrison to score anytime @ 15/2 with Paddy Power
Correct Score Odds
7/1 Southampton 1-0
9/1 Southampton 2-0
7/1 Southampton 2-1
12/1 Reading 1-0
20/1 Reading 2-0
11/1 Reading 2-1
10/1 Draw 0-0
6/1 Draw 1-1
11/1 Draw 2-2
First Goalscorer Odds
5/1 Rickie Lambert
6/1 Gaston Ramirez
13/2 Jay Rodriguez
7/1 Emmanuel Mayuka
15/2 Jason Puncheon
9/1 Adam Lallana
9/1 Jason Roberts
9/1 Adam Le Fondre
10/1 Guly Do Prado
10/1 Pavel Pogrebnyak
10/1 Noel Hunt
Odds supplied by PaddyPower.com, who offer live betting in-running for all Premier League matches.
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