Sunderland and Reading meet at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night as the two relegation candidates look to boost their ailing fortunes in the Premier League. They will finally get the chance to play their game in hand after this original fixture was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch back in August and how both sides could do with a win this week.
Neither team can boast anything remotely relating to form ahead of Tuesday's match and it is tough to know where to begin when looking at the match betting. Sunderland are even-money favourites with Coral, who price Reading 11/4, and the draw could prove to be the safest bet at 12/5.
There is little to choose between the two teams in terms of form and league position as Sunderland are currently 18th with 13 points, while Reading are 19th with nine points. Defeat for Reading could see them cut adrift in that relegation zone, although all the pressure is on Sunderland as the home team and indeed on manager Martin O'Neill.
The Northern Irishman remains favourite in the next manager to be sacked betting as he has watched his side lose five of their last seven league games. They went down 3-1 to Chelsea at home at the weekend and it is a result that has done little to boost confidence in the North East. They have now won just one of their last 11 in the league and the mood in the camp won't have been lifted by the news that Lee Cattermole is out injured and top scorer Steven Fletcher is an injury doubt.
Scoring goals has been a major issue for Sunderland, although midfielder Craig Gardner has scored two in his last four and he could be a decent punt to get on the scoresheet. Gardner long-range pot-shots could be just what is needed in a tight, nervy affair like this and he is a best price 5/1 to score anytime in the latest betting with Coral.
The home side are unlikely to have many better opportunities to right their goalscoring wrongs than against this Reading team, who have failed to keep a clean sheet away from home all season. Brian McDermott's side have been notoriously poor travellers as they have picked up just two points on the road this term.
The Royals went down 1-0 to Southampton on Saturday, a result which means they have lost their last four league games in a row, and late goals have cost them dearly. They have conceded 17 goals in the final half an hour of games, including eight in the last 15 minutes, and they have dropped too many points from decent positions.
They have been behind at half-time only once in their eight away games this season but have gone on to lose six of them. The basis of those first-half showings make the 6/4 for Reading to score first on Tuesday look tempting, while they are also 6/4 to be winning at half-time with the draw no bet. The result come full-time could have a significant bearing on both teams' seasons and the 1-1 correct score could be the way to go at 11/2.
Sunderland v Reading Form
Check the season's statistics for both Sunderland and Reading, plus the odds ahead of Tuesday's match.
Sunderland v Reading Tips
Tip #1: Draw @ 12/5 with Coral.
Tip #2: Reading to be winning at half-time with the draw no bet @ 6/4 with Coral.
Tip #3: Craig Gardner to score anytime @ 5/1 with Coral.
Correct Score Odds
6/1 Sunderland 1-0
15/2 Sunderland 2-0
15/2 Sunderland 2-1
9/1 Draw 0-0
11/2 Draw 1-1
14/1 Draw 2-2
8/1 Reading 1-0
16/1 Reading 2-0
12/1 Reading 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
5/1 Steven Fletcher
6/1 Stephane Sessegnon
13/2 Louis Saha
13/2 Connor Wickham
13/2 Fraizer Campbell
7/1 Adam Le Fondre
7/1 Pavel Pogrebnyak
8/1 Noel Hunt
9/1 No Goalscorer
10/1 Jason Roberts
10/1 James McFadden
10/1 Adam Johnson
Odds supplied by Coral.com, who offer live betting in-running for all Premier League fixtures.
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