The late TV game in the Sky Bet Championship sees managerless Reading take on Sheffield United. Tom Carnduff has 10/1 and 12/1 best bets.
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Reading v Sheffield United (Madejski Stadium, 1730 GMT, Sky Sports Main Event)
We're rivalling Chelsea v Manchester City in the Premier League here, but there is still plenty of value on offer in the Sky Bet Championship's late game.
Managerless Reading take on Sheffield United, who hold promotion aspirations despite posting just one win in their last five games.
Paul Clement was sacked by the Royals on Thursday with the club sitting outside the relegation zone on goal difference, and even if they do appoint a new manager by kick-off you'd imagine he will be in the stands watching on.
Scott Marshall and Nigel Gibbs took first-team training on Friday and will likely be in charge of this one, although they face a real task in getting a positive result from this side given how they only have two wins in their last ten.
I'd back the Blades to find the net on more than one occasion given the style of football they like to play. Chris Wilder's men have scored at least two goals in six away games this season and their 32 'goals for' is amongst the highest in the league.
I've spoken about Chris Basham's qualities in the past. He's one of my favourite defenders, not just because of his defensive efforts, but the fact that he brings a new dimension to the attack and can find the net when opportunity presents itself.
The multiple goals scored from open play this season shows how he is getting himself into the right positions, and the price of 10/1 available with multiple bookmakers is worth taking up.
In terms of the stat betting, it's well worth backing a high shots count for David McGoldrick, with the Sheffield United striker leading the way for shots taken this season.
The 55 shots taken is the fourth-highest in the Sky Bet Championship - only West Brom's Harvey Barnes, Preston's Callum Robinson and Stoke's Tom Ince have seen more.
McGoldrick has only played the full 90 minutes in six games this season, so it'd be interesting to see what his shots count would stand at if he were playing full games more often. Five of his last six games have also seen him play 75 minutes or less.
Reading are no strangers to cards this season, picking up the third-highest amount of yellows at home in the Championship. Considering the quality of the opposition, I'd expect them to add to their tally here.
One price that instantly caught my eye was the huge 12/1 available on Yakou Meite to be shown a card. The forward has committed 27 fouls this season, the second-highest in this Reading side, and has four yellows to show for it.
He has played a part in all-but-one game this season. While he may have come off the bench in last week's draw with Stoke, the fact that he posted an assist may mean he returns to the starting XI as he had done in the three games prior.
Even if he is on the bench, the fact that 50% of his cards this season have come in games where he hasn't started highlights how he can commit fouls late on. A substitute appearance may well be more beneficial for this bet given how referees are more inclined to brandish cards late on.
He's more eye-catching for his goalscoring exploits this season, but given his disciplinary record this season, the value remains there even if that best price halves before kick-off.
Score prediction: Reading 1-2 Sheffield United (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)
- Reading have collected just one point in their last seven league matches against Sheffield United (W0 D1 L6).
- Sheffield United have won their last four Championship visits to the Madejski Stadium against Reading, scoring exactly three times in their last three wins.
- Reading have won just one of their last seven league games (D3 L3), beating Bristol City 3-2 in November.
- Sheffield United are looking to avoid consecutive Championship defeats for the first time since the opening two matches of the season versus Swansea (1-2) and Middlesbrough (0-3).
- Reading’s Yakou Meite has been directly involved in seven goals in his last eight Championship appearances (6 goals, 1 assist).
- Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp has scored 10 league goals this season, twice as many as any other player at the club.
Odds correct at 1340 GMT (07/12/18)