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Free betting tips: Reading v Derby - Sky Bet Championship opening game

Derby are backed for victory against Reading
Derby are backed for victory against Reading

The Sky Bet Championship kicks off with Reading v Derby on Friday and Tom Carnduff is backing the Rams for victory.


Reading v Derby recommended bets

2pts Derby to win and over 1.5 goals in the match at 11/5

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


It's a case of stepping into the unknown for Derby this season as they welcome the inexperienced Frank Lampard as their new manager.

The Rams have given him his first opportunity in senior management, but they are more than prepared to start the season by picking up three points.

An apparent 'change in approach' to the transfer market has still seen quality additions come into a side that was good enough to finish in the top six last season under Gary Rowett, with Peterborough's Jack Marriott the headline signing.

Marriott was a star for Posh in Sky Bet League One, scoring 33 goals in all competitions in a team that did not even reach the play-offs.

In a deal that's been reported around the £6.5m mark, the value the Rams are getting looks outstanding in the modern transfer market.

We look at Marriott as one of our two recommendations for top scorer in Sporting Life's Sky Bet Championship season preview.

The player is in-form, and signing for a Derby side who have an attack that others in this division could only dream of.

In fairness to Reading, they have brought in Marc McNulty who enjoyed a prolific season with Coventry in League Two, and Sam Baldock is another forward who has previous history with this division.

There are huge question marks surrounding their defence though, with John O'Shea's signature leaving a lot to be desired. The Royals are in danger of being too 'top heavy', yet the weight up front does not fill you with confidence either.

Reading conceded 70 goals in 2017/18
Reading conceded 70 goals in 2017/18

This is a Reading team who conceded 70 last season, the joint-fifth worse in the league, and they have done little to suggest that the number of goals against them will decrease this time around.

On the contrary, Derby saw the same amount in their 'goals for' column and, apart from Andreas Weimann's departure to Bristol City, they've not lost any of those stars from last year. If anything, they've significantly improved on their forward options.

The likes of Florian Jozefzoon, Harry Wilson and Mason Mount - all summer signings for Derby - will enjoy coming up against this defence that Reading have to offer, and should have plenty of opportunity for goal for the likes of Marriott to pounce on.

Of course, there is (as it stands) Matej Vydra still at the club. Last season's Championship top goalscorer has had a disrupted summer after a drawn-out transfer to Leeds didn't come to fruition.

It's unclear what part he will play for Derby at this point, but he's another player that Lampard can call upon to increase that attacking threat.

At 11/5 for a Rams victory with over 1.5 goals in the game, Derby look incredibly overpriced when you compare the two starting line-ups and the tools that both manager have at their disposal.

If this game was being played at Pride Park, you'd be looking at the Rams as odds-on, so the value is there on backing a victory for last season's beaten play-off semi-finalists.

Score prediction: Reading 0-2 Derby (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)

Best bet: Derby to win and over 1.5 goals in the match at 11/5

Alternative bet: Jack Marriott to score anytime at 21/10


Odds correct at 1030 BST (02/08/18)

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Most Read Football

Phil Jones scores an own goal during Manchester United's game in Valencia1

United miss out on top spot

Manchester United missed out on the chance to finish top of their Champions League group after a 2-1 defeat in Valencia, while Juventus lost at Young Boys.

Leroy Sane celebrates scoring a goal for Manchester City2

Sane shines for City

Leroy Sane scored twice as Manchester City came from behind to beat Hoffenheim and top their Champions League group, where Lyon grabbed the final last 16 spot.

UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid will be hoping to win the trophy for a fourth successive year3

UCL knockout draw details

When is it? Who could Liverpool, Manchester United, Man City and Spurs face? All you need to know here...

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri watches his team in action4

Sarri disgusted by Sterling abuse

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has branded the alleged racist abuse of Manchester City's Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge as "disgusting".

CSKA Moscow celebrate a goal against Real Madrid5

Real suffer record defeat

A young Real Madrid side suffered an embarrassing 3-0 home defeat by CSKA Moscow - their worst ever loss at the Bernabeu in Europe.

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