Reading v Southampton Preview: Royals to stop rot?

Reading v Southampton Premier League match and betting odds preview.

readingReading v Southamptonsouthampton

Madejski Stadium, Saturday 6th April 2013, kick-off 12:45.
Ref: Mike Jones; Live on Sky Sports 2

Jimmy Kebe (groin) is the only player out for Reading as Nigel Adkins has an otherwise fit squad to choose from.  Southampton will wait on fitness tests for goalkeeper Artur Boruc and Adam Lallana.

Reading are in deep trouble, having picked up just 5 points from 16 games away from home this season.  It doesn’t take a genius to work out that this is a must-win at home for the Royals if they have any realistic hope of avoiding returning to the Championship.  They’ve now lost 6 Premier League matches in a row.

The Royals have made a habit of putting themselves in difficult positions early on in games, conceding the first goal 19 times this season already.

Southampton are coming off a fantastic win at home against Chelsea and will be full of confidence. The Saints have scored more times than any other team outside the top seven (44 goals) but they have not yet won away from home under Mauricio Pochettino in 4 EPL games.

Reading will be desperate to give themselves some hope of climbing off the bottom of the table but if they concede first again in this game it could signal the beginning of the end of the Royals’ Premier League survival battle.

Prediction: Reading 1 Southampton 3
Betting odds on full time result: Reading win 3.20, Draw 3.50 Southampton win 2.20
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Probable line-ups:
Reading (4-3-3): Federici; Kelly, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte; Guthrie, Leigertwood, Karacan; Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak, McAnuff.
Southampton (4-4-2): Boruc; Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Shaw; Puncheon, Cork, Schneiderlin, Davis, Rodriguez, Lambert.