A right Royal bet

  • By: Craig Chisnall
  • Last Updated: January 23 2014, 11:14 GMT

Reading at a tasty 23/10 headline Craig Chisnall's bets in the Sky Bet Football League this weekend.

Adam Le Fondre's return to the starting XI has worked out well
Adam Le Fondre's return to the starting XI has worked out well

It has taken them a lot longer than I, and probably most Reading fans would have predicted, but the Royals finally seem to be getting to grips with life back in the Championship.

With one of the biggest and most well-equipped squads in the second tier I expected Nigel Adkins' side to be right in the mix at the top of the table from the first week following their relegation.

That's not how it has panned out for the men from the Madejski but results in the last fortnight point to a significant improvement.

In the wake of their 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest, only secured by Stephen Kelly's last-gasp equaliser, leading scorer Adam Le Fondre went public on his frustration at only starting nine games.

Since then he's started both league matches and the points return has been six points. Their 1-0 win at Watford proved they could grind results out while Le Fondre helped himself to a hat-trick in the 7-1 blitzing of Bolton last time out.

Those results have got Royals fans dreaming of an immediate return to the top flight again and I believe they can back them up with another win at Ipswich.

While Reading have got their confidence back Town have gone off the boil - they are without a win in four league matches having lost their last two to QPR and Millwall, as well as being knocked out of the FA Cup by Preston.

That makes the 23/10 on the away win a more-than-attractive price.

In League One, Rotherham have impressed of late with good form and several eye-catching signings - they mean business in their quest for a second successive promotion push.

They've won six of their last 10 and scored seven goals in the last two of those - seeing off Crewe 4-2 in their last match at the New York Stadium and beating Shrewsbury 3-0 on their patch at the weekend.

The Millers had done all the damage to the Shrews in the first 21 minutes as Steve Evans' men ran amok.

Evans has been one of the busiest managers this January with the loan additions of Miles Addison, Tom Hitchcock and Blair Turgott.

Striker Wes Thomas has also signed permanently from AFC Bournemouth and such is the strength of their squad he's likely to start from the bench again when his and Evans' former club arrives in south Yorkshire.

The Red Devils also have a dreadful record with just two wins on their travels this term so the 11/10 about Rotherham looks the price to get on.

League Two leaders Scunthorpe also look great value at 29/20 to continue their excellent run of form under Russ Wilcox at Dagenham.

The Iron have been even busier than Rotherham this month with a bumper £300,000 alone paid to Yeovil for the services of Paddy Madden from Yeovil.

Dave Syers, Marcus Williams, Paul Hayes and Gary McSheffrey have also moved to Glanford Park and it's sign of their fine form under Wilcox that they were disappointed with a 0-0 draw with AFC Wimbledon last weekend.

That made it 10 league games unbeaten, seven of which have been won, since Wilcox stepped up from assistant to axed boss Brian Laws.

With the quality they now possess in their squad I can't see them finishing outside of the top three.

The Daggers' form has deserted them of late with just one win in their last seven with five defeats in that sequence. Star striker Rhys Murphy looks to be heading for Peterborough as well this week and his departure would come as a huge blow to boss Wayne Burnett.

  • Posted at 1500 GMT on 22/01/2014.

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