Its the first leg of the Championship playoffs this evening with Fulham taking on Reading at Craven Cottage (KO 17:30).
With both sides looking to take an advantage into the second leg next Tuesday there’s plenty at stake and it should prove to be another nail biter.
The first of the Championship playoff legs gets underway at Craven Cottage later this afternoon as Fulham take on Reading (KO 17:30) with both sides eying a return to the promised land of the Premer League.
Even though Jaap Stam’s Reading side finished a full five points above their opponents today, its safe to say that Fulham have been one of the form sides in the Championship in recent months, which has seen the side go from mid table obscirity to clinching the final playoff spot at the expense of Leeds Utd.
Slavisa Jokanovic’s side have only suffered two defeats in their last seventeen fixtures, after slow start to their season, including a 2-1 win over fellow playoff hopefuls Sheffield Wednesday and the side look perfectly prepared for the arrival of the Royals to West London.
Also in their locker is the fact that Fulham demolished Reading 5-0 in the league match last December, and a similar performance and result will surely see the Cottagers to a Wembley appearance.
That said, Reading, who finished the Championship in third place on 85 points are sure to be better prepared for their visit to the Cottage this time round. The Royals have found life difficult on the road this season, having lost five of their last eight trips, which includes that 7-1 steamrolling against Norwich at Carrow Road, a result which still sends shivers down the spines of Royals fans.
Reading have defeated Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa and Burton on their travels since then and we should see a much closer game this evening.
One thing that can be said is that both sides are prolific in front of goal, with Reading finding the net in their last five away trips, while Fulham have the second best home record in the league and have scored the most goals at home in the division with 40 goals netted.
The Cottagers are predictably heavy favourites to take a first leg advantage to the Madejski and can be backed at 4/6, while Reading surely look a touch of value at 4/1.
I definitely fancy Fulham to take a lead into the second leg, but think Reading can find the net.
Fulham to win and both teams to score market offers up a price of 9/4, and that looks a tasty punt considering recent form and the scoring records of these sides.
Chris Martin should retain his place in the Fulham attack after returning from suspension last week while Neeskens Kebano, who scored a brace in the final game of the season is also in line to start.
As for Reading, much will depend on Yann Kermorgant, one of the players of the Championship this season, and the Frenchman has smashed four in his last three fixtures.
At 9/1 in the first goalscorer market he offers signifcant value and could offer a significant return for punters.
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