The weekend of Championship football gets underway with a massive battle between league leaders Southampton and second placed Reading at St Mary’s on Friday night, as punters pile on Brian McDermott’s Royals, who have been on a scintillating run of form.
The two sides are only separated by goal difference, so this could end up being a title decider.
Southampton are top of the table at the moment after a impressive 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Monday. Nigel Adkins’ side have lost just once in thirteen league games.
Adkins will know what a massive game this is, with third place West Ham just six points behind, a slip up on Friday night could lead to a very nervous last few games.
In form striker Rickie Lambert will be looking to add to his 24 league goals this season. The Saints number seven netted two against Crystal Palace on Monday and will be full of confidence going into Friday’s encounter.
As for Reading, they are in fantastic form at just the right time, winning their last four matches.
Not many people had tipped the Royals to be where they are at this stage of the season, so it is credit to Brian McDermott and his players for the job they have done.
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McDermott’s side picked up just four points from their first six games, so where they are now in the table is a fantastic achievement.
Reading’s away form has been a real key in their campaign so far, winning twelve games on the road, which along with West Ham, is the most of any team this season.
The Royals will be desperate to avoid the drama of the play-offs after being defeated in the final last year to Swansea City.
These two sides played out a 1-1 draw at the Madejski earlier in the season with Southampton getting a late equaliser.
With this being touted as the biggest game in the season so far, it should be a cracker at St Marys. It all gets underway from 7.45pm on Friday.