Derby v Reading Betting Tips: Another drab affair looks imminent at Pride Park
Football writer Thomas Giles previews the upcoming Championship match between Derby County and Reading.
As opposed to the other Championship match previewed ahead of this weekend’s action between Norwich and Wolves, this is likely to be a game with few goals and probably quite a drab affair.
Derby are the closest challengers to 6th place Sheffield Wednesday but they remain a huge five points off the club who currently occupy the last play-off spot. Although they won their recent FA Cup Third Round match against Premier League side West Bromwich Albion, Derby have faltered in the Championship and have not won in their last three fixtures, losing their last two.
The Rams certainly pride themselves on a good defence and with good reason given the fact that they have the second best defensive record in the division having conceded just 19 goals in 26 matches whilst their goalkeeper Scott Carson, who has played in all league matches this campaign, has the most clean sheets in the Championship this season with 14 – an impressive percentage figure of 53.8%.
Whilst their back-line has been the backbone of their relative success this season, particularly since the arrival of new manager Steve McLaren a few months ago, the attacking third has been problematic having scored just 24 goals in the league (an average of 0.92 per game) which is the second worst in the division – only 23rd place Wigan Athletic have scored fewer. This means that if the Rams do not keep a clean sheet then they generally don’t pick up results. In fact, of the 11 matches they have won this season, only one has come without a clean sheet. Of course this is a good statistic but it also shows the lack of potency from their forward-line.
Although they have lost their last two league matches, it is certainly worth noting that both of these defeats came away from home and their record at Pride Park is still fantastic – no losses since 24th September and no goals conceded. You read that right, zero goals conceded!
After a stuttering start, Reading are now going well under new manager Jaap Stam with the club currently sitting in 4th having won nine out of their last 12 matches. However, their most recent two games in all competitions have yielded two defeats and so the Royals will want to get back on track quickly.
As opposed to Derby County, Reading are a side who both score and concede plenty of goals as shown by their statistics of 36 for (third best in the top six) and 33 against (the worst record in the top six). Such stats are evident in recent form too which has seen the Royals score nine but concede eight in their last five league matches.
Jaap Stam’s men will feel relatively confident going into Saturday’s match at Pride Park having won their two most recent league matches on the road. However, with Derby’s excellent home record, they may find it difficult to extend this winning run.
Although Reading matches tend to involve a fair number of goals, Derby’s defensive solidity can act as the catalyst for a low scorer here. Given Derby’s ability to keep opponents quiet at home, I think the Royals will find creating clear-cut opportunities hard to do. With this in mind, ‘Under 2.5 Goals’ really stands out at 5/6.
Only 23% of the Rams’ home matches this season have seen ‘Over 2.5 Goals’, while 0% have contained four or more. Additionally, the average goal total in league matches at Pride Park this campaign has been a measly 1.31 which is not only the lowest record in the Championship or the Football League, but the lowest in England’s top 10 leagues.
A second market to attack here is ‘Both Teams to Score – No’ at 19/20. Only five of Derby’s matches this season have seen both teams find the back of the net (the lowest in the division) and so it’s hard to see both profiting going forward in this one – especially given the fact that the Rams have not conceded at home since 24th September.
See Saturday’s League One tips here.
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