Marlon King’s penalty against Club Bruges on Thursday landed a point for Birmingham and ensured that the Blues extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to nine matches. That’s solid form to take to the Madejski Stadium today but Chris Hughton’s men are nevertheless 5/2 outsiders with while Totesport have installed hosts Reading as 13/10 favourites.
The Royals however, have drawn three of their last four, losing the other at Nottingham Forest in midweek, so Birmingham have little to fear ahead of the Berkshire trip but the absence through suspension of playmaker Jean Beausejour is a blow and with City having carded a couple of consecutive stalemates in the last week, Stan James’ 12/5 for the spoils to be shared is the eye-catching bet.
A high-scoring affair doesn’t look on the cards given that Reading have struck just four times in their last six outings and with that statistic lending appeal to a match tally of fewer than three goals at 1.73 (8/1) via Betdaq, correct score punters should consider Betfred’s 11/2 posted against a 1-1 scoreline.
Leeds were mauled 5-0 at home by Blackpool on Wednesday and ‘keeper Paul Rachubka looked so shaky that he was withdrawn at half-time to be replaced by teenage rookie Alex Cairns. The Whites’ first choice stopper Andy Lonergan remains sidelined so Alex McCarthy has been drafted in to solve their goalkeeping crisis, however that might not make a difference for the trip to Leicester, where the hosts have already been well backed and are now no higher than evens (Boylesports) to see off the shaky-looking visitors.
Meanwhile, in the other Championship fixtures, Ladbrokes make Brighton odds-on at 5/6 to send Barnsley home empty-handed.