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Reading vs Derby Odds: Two plays for 3pm battle between Royals and Rams

Danny Drinkwater makes up one half of a 22/1 booking long shot
Danny Drinkwater makes up one half of a 22/1 booking long shot

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Due to postponements, the last game I covered was Bournemouth’s 1-0 win over QPR on the day after Boxing Day. Despite not starting, Andre Dozzell came off the bench and was in a cynical mood. It was his card that completed my 50/1 bet builder and secured my long awaited first full house for Betting Odds. 

That clean sweep took my P/L out of the red- for the first time this season- and put us up to a healthy +8pts profit. 

Today, I have cast my eye over a huge clash at the foot of the Championship as Reading welcome Derby to the Madejski, live in front of the Sky cameras. 

At around 7/5, the hosts are the favourites here with the bookies given them a 41.7% chance of victory. However, looking at recent form, I would have thought these two sides priced much more closely. The Royals have only won one of their last five, whilst the visitors have taken maximum points form their last three games. 

With Reading's last game taking place over three weeks ago, Veljko Paunović is expected to make changes from the side that lost to West Brom. Ovie Ejaria has recovered from COVID and will likely come back in on the left hand side of midfield, Danny Drinkwater and John Swift should also come back into central midfield having recovered from injury. This means that the Royals will have that experienced spine of Scott Dann in central defence, Drinkwater at the heart of midfield and Andy Carrol spearheading their attack. With the trio making over 590 top flight appearances between them, their guile could prove invaluable given the magnitude of today’s fixture. 

Wayne Rooney is expected to revert back to a 3-5-2 with Colin Kazim-Richards coming back into the starting line-up to partner Luke Plange upfront. These are two frontmen in red hot form as well with the former scoring in each of his last appearances off the bench and the latter bagging two in his first three professional appearances.

Reading vs Derby Tips

Reading vs Derby Odds

Today's Football Tips
Derby to win
9/4
Odds correct as of 2022-01-03 13:15 Odds subject to change.

In terms of value, I am not sure this price represents a lot although I do think given the Rams recent form they should be a bit shorter. The main reason for siding with the visitors here is momentum. 

Wayne Rooney’s side have won their last three on the spin and played twice since Reading last did. Playing those games will not only keep the Derby squad at peak fitness but, given the results, it has given them something to build on and slither of hope that they might be able to stay up. Physiologically, I think this will prove to be invaluable and in terms of quantifying it into a price, I do not think the bookies can. 

It is worth noting that the time without a game has allowed the Royals to reintegrate key personnel back into the squad but it remains to be seen what the consequences of going 22 games without a game are. They may be rejuvenated, however, we have seen many sides in the English football league struggle to hit the ground running following a short lay off this season. 

In terms of the league proceedings, the hosts sit in 21st on 21 points and represent the most realistic chance of survival for Derby. Victory for Rooney’s side today would see them move to within a point of Barnsley in 23rd and 11 points of safety. It would also be a huge coup for the Rams and obviously defeat is simply not an option if they want to ply their trade in the second tier next season. 

Rooney is doing an incredible job for DCFC, he has managed to galvanise the squad's spirit and utilise this siege mentality and I think the spirit he has generated at Pride Park will be the difference today. 

Championship Odds
Drinkwater and Byrne to be booked
22/1
Odds correct as of 2022-01-03 13:15 Odds subject to change.

Given the importance of the fixture and the presence of the TV cameras, I think player cards are a worthy punt today. It also does not hurt that John Busby has the whistle, as far as Card brandishing goes, he is one of the best the Championship has to offer awarding an average of 4.75Y and 0.08R cards per game this season. 

Danny Drinkwater’s price caught my eye. He does not have the best record for ill-discipline over the course of his career- which is why I would not back him as a single- but has picked up a flurry of cautions this season with three just over 1,000 minutes of domestic action. All of these have come in his last six appearances and as he averages 2.7 tackles and 1.4 fouls per game, I would expect him to be in the thick of it today. 

If you wanted to back someone as a single, Nathan Byrne is your man at 3/1 with William Hill. The same bet is as short 2/1 elsewhere and given the fact that he has a cards per 90 average of 0.30 over the past two seasons you can see why. 

The Rams right back has five yellows and one red card to his name this season and will be tasked with containing Ejaria this afternoon, Reading’s most fouled player. 

Best of luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly.

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