Reading vs. Chelsea Preview

Wednesday evening’s game at the Madejski stadium sees second from bottom Reading host a Chelsea side looking to further cement their place in the top four of the Premier League.

Despite their lowly position, the Royals have lost just one of their last five in the league, and go in to this game on having beaten Sheffield United 4-0 in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Brian McDermott will be without the injured Jason Roberts, while fellow striker Noel Hunt faces a late fitness test having picked up a knock at the weekend. New signing Daniel Carrico is also unlikely to feature.

Top scorer Adam Le Fondre is 11.0 (10/1) to open the scoring, though with his last five league appearances coming a substitute late on, you may prefer to back him to score the last goal of the game at the same price.

Reading are generously priced at 7.5 (13/2) to get the three points, with Chelsea widely available at 1.5 (1/2). The draw is 4.5 (9/2) with a variety of firms.

The visitors go in to the game having been held to a 2-2 draw by League One Brentford in their FA Cup fourth round tie on Sunday.

Away from the cup, they beat Arsenal 2-1 at Stamford Bridge the previous weekend, and have won their last four games on the road.

Goalkepper Peter Cech and defender David Luiz are injury doubts for Rafael Benitez, while Eden Hazard serves the second of a three-match ban.

Demba Ba is 5.25 (17/4) with Bet Victor to strike first, with Fernando Torres, who netted the equaliser at Griffin Park at the weekend, a 6.0 (5/1) shot with Ladbrokes.