Rose can Light up Drop Battle
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0.5pt e.w. Danny Rose to score the first goal v Reading at 28/1 (bet365, 1/3 unlimited).
Sunderland v Reading (1945 GMT)
I seem to have written about some rank bad Premier League prices a lot in recent weeks and Sunderland at 21/20 to win this fixture is another.
That's not a price to take about a team who have won just twice in 23 league outings, regardless of the opposition.
As it is, Reading are, like their hosts, stuck in the bottom three but backing Sunderland around the even-money mark is only for the brave and, I would say, the foolish.
Goals have been a problem all season for the Black Cats and the lack of firepower has been compounded by an injury to top scorer Steven Fletcher, who looks likely to miss out again for this match, one which was originally postponed due to a waterlogged pitch back in August.
Reading have found goals easier to come by but they still go into this match four points behind their opponents.
Just one win in 15 games so far hardly instils confidence in potential backers of them at 31/10 and neither does a lengthy injury list which features Pavel Pogrebnyak, Sean Morrison and Jem Karacan, among others.
Perhaps most worrying are recent results.
The Royals have come off second best in tight games against the sides around them on their travels - their last two away games resulting in 1-0 defeats at Southampton and Aston Villa.
And when they've been prepared to go toe-to-toe with teams, the result has been the same - defeat. They lost 4-3 at home to Manchester United, and 3-2 at Wigan.
Basically value looks thin on the ground in the outright betting so we're going to try a long-odds poke.
Danny Rose was handed an experimential central midfield role on Saturday against Chelsea, with boss Martin O'Neill looking to utilise his natural attacking ability.
"Danny has been splendid since his arrival, and is getting better," O'Neill said.
"As his fitness improves, I think he is very capable of playing him in central midfield, it's just that he had done very well at left-back.
"The players have taken to him, and the crowd have taken to him - rightly so, because he has been outstanding.
"I always thought he had potential, and he's showing it."
The manager admits he is considering keeping Rose in that role for this game but the layers don't seem to have picked up on it.
The loanee is up at 10/1 at bet365 to score at anytime - a big price for anyone who plays in the middle of the park.
However, the best way to back Rose, who made his name with a wonder strike for Spurs in the North London derby, looks to be in the first scorer market.
Goals seem likely to be in short supply so the value is to side with Rose each way at 28/1. bet365 offer unlimited places in their each-way terms.
Before the cynics point out that Rose's goal against Arsenal is his only one in senior football, we will, while also stressing he's played virtually every game of his career at left-back.
If, as seems likely, he starts in midfield, the price will be simply wrong.
Verdict: Sunderland 1 Reading 0