Peterborough vs. Reading Predictions: Get on the goals at London Road
There is a huge clash at the foot of the Championship table this evening as 22nd placed Peterborough United welcome Reading. Only one place and two points separate these sides meaning the result could be season defining, defeat will be catastrophic whilst victory could be the difference.
Reading finds themselves in dire straits. They have been docked six points for breaching financial fair play rules, reported a pre-tax loss of over £100m over the last three accounting years and their manager- Veljko Paunovic- reportedly offered to leave but the club cannot afford to pay off his contract.
‘No desire, no drive, no direction’ read a banner at their last game, a 2-3 defeat vs Coventry, further twisting the knife further, encapsulating the dismal atmosphere around the Madejski.
The Royals have missed key personnel all season, Lucas Joao, Yakou Meite and Andy Rinomhota have only featured for a combined total of 56% of Reading's season. Micheal Olise was sold to Crystal Palace, Omar Richards left for Bayern Munich.
Financial issues, a points deduction, unrest amongst the fans, key injuries and a manager that lacks conviction appears to be the perfect concoction for relegation. Fans believe that the 2-1 defeat to sixth tier side Kidderminster Harriers was the turning point. Now, winless in an eleven game stint spanning four months, Barnsley, Derby and Peterborough are breathing down their necks.
Peterborough vs. Reading Tips
The visitors will be bolstered by the return to fitness of Meite, Joao And Rinomhota as all three featured in the Royal last fixture. With Junior Hoilett suspended, the former could return to the XI for his first league start of the campaign.
As for the hosts, victory would see them leapfrog Reading. The Posh have three confirmed absentees- Dan Butler, Mark Beevers and Joel Randall- but with no fresh injury concerns Darren Ferguson could name an uncharged side from the one that faced Preston at the weekend.
No side in the second tier has shipped more goals than these two. Both Reading and Peterborough have conceded 60 goals, having played a game less, the latter edges it though averaging over two per game.
When the two worst defences in the division meet, it surely means goal, right? Well, that was the case in the reverse, a game that featured four and I think we will see a fixture of similar ilk tonight.
35 goals have been scored in Reading’s last eight league games, that is 4.375 per game, with over 2.5 goals clicking in seven of them. In fact, this bet has landed in 60% of their games this campaign.
It is a similar story for Peterborough with 18 of their games have featured three or more goals. They have only kept two clean sheets all season, the most recent of which came ten games ago as they hosted basement boys Barnsley.
It is worth pointing out that this week's Championship action has been a little lacklustre. Across the four games thus far there has only been four goals, two matches ended without a goal and under’s has landed in them all. However, I think this game will buck the trend.
Reading look a much better side with Joao spearheading their attack for a few reasons. The first of which being his quality. Tall, strong, powerful yet graceful he links up the play well and provides another dimension to the Royals attack.
The intelligence of his movement also brings out the John Swift, which is why it is no surprise to see the midfield maestro back amongst the goals and assists directly contributing to three in Joao’s last four starts.
Joao also has that killer instinct, that cutting edge, the one that can turn a half chance into a goal and a point into three. Over the course of the career, he has bagged 62 times giving him a goals per 90 average of 0.41.
Given the opposition, the 15/8 about him to find the net looks a touch large.
In what I expect to be a goal laden game, it might be worth taking Joao to score a brace at a chunkier price. He has played every minute of the Royals last four, racking up nine shots in that time.
Best of luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly.
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