Royals set for right result

  • By: Craig Chisnall
  • Last Updated: March 20 2014, 10:20 GMT

Craig Chisnall predicts a crucial win for Reading against Birmingham this weekend in the Sky Bet Championship.

Nigel Adkins and Reading can pick up a vital three points
Nigel Adkins and Reading can pick up a vital three points

Reading have dropped out of the top six thanks to Wigan's wonderful form but I expect them to put the pressure back on this weekend with a win at Birmingham.

I really fancied the Royals to challenge the top two this term with the quality they have but for some reason, boss Nigel Adkins hasn't been able to get things quite right.

With the likes of Royston Drenthe, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Adam Le Fondre, Garath McCLeary and Jobi McAnuff in their squad they have an array of firepower some Premier League clubs would gladly own.

But every time they look like going on a run they've faltered. Three draws in their last four have seen them dip below the play-off line so three points at St Andrews is a must.

And nowhere has been as welcoming as the Blues home this term, Lee Clark's men have won just twice on their home patch.

Their off-field troubles with owner Carson Yeung recently being jailed have hardly helped so it's great credit to Clark that City aren't in even deeper trouble.

Their young squad must be finding it easier on the road with less pressure on and with just five points between them and the drop zone this is a crucial game. Take Reading to add to their troubles at 13/8 with BetVictor.

I simply can't ignore Sheffield United to beat Wolves at a huge price in League One.

The Blades saw their seven-game winning run halted at Preston on Monday night but 0-0 at promotion-chasing North End was still a fine result.

They had won their previous ten games in all competitions without even conceding a goal in those seven league wins.

That's a phenomenal run considering the trouble they were in at the turn of the year, boss Nigel Clough has done a fine job since picking up the pieces of David Weir's disastrous reign.

Too many managers these days use the FA Cup as a competition to blood youngsters for league action but Clough has used it to galvanise the whole club,

Confidence is coursing through the veins of players and fans alike and they will fancy another scalp in leaders Wolves.

After a record-breaking run of nine consecutive wins Kenny Jackett's men have had a disappointing week.

They were held at home by Shrewsbury before losing to Crawley in midweek. With that in mind get on the Blades at a whopping 23/10 with BetVictor.

In League Two, Torquay are finally showing some fight in their battle against the drop.

The Gulls looked doomed ten days ago when they were 10 points from safety but home wins over Rochdale and Bury have given them renewed hope, particularly with Devon rivals Exeter sliding into trouble.

Rookie boss Chris Hargreaves, who took over from Alan Knill in January was also furious they were beaten 1-0 at Cheltenham last weekend and they will be desperate for a third home win on the spin when Newport visit.

The Exiles play-off hopes have evaporated in recent weeks as their enforced lay-off in the New Year seems to be catching up with them.

Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Dagenham means they have won just one of their last 15 matches and with the Gulls showing those encouraging signs they are well worth a punt at 17/10 with Betway.

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