Reading vs Birmingham

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Reading vs Birmingham Betting Tips and Match Preview – 22/04/2015

FA Cup hangover for Reading!
FA Cup hangover for Reading!

Reading suffered the disappointment of losing 2-1 after extra time in their FA Cup semi-final with Arsenal at the weekend and they troubled the current holders with a particularly energetic second half display. Manager Steve Clarke will now face a difficult task in motivating his players for their remaining Championship games as the Royals search for a first league win in seven attempts, but an encouraging reception may be forthcoming from the home supporters at the Madejski Stadium after such a bold performance at Wembley.

Although Birmingham occupy a comfortable mid-table position in the Championship, manager Gary Rowett is still determined to accumulate as many points as possible before the season finale. His team have yet to win on their travels in the league this year, but a solid defensive display was produced at the weekend when the Blues just failed to earn a point at free-scoring Watford in a 1-0 defeat. Yet Birmingham have failed to register a clean sheet in their latest eight contests.

The outcome of this match will depend much on the physical and mental fitness of the Reading players following their extra-time defeat at Wembley and they will face a Birmingham team who are remaining competitive as the season closes. Steve Clarke will also insist that his players compete for the remaining available points and a low-scoring draw is likely with less than 2.5 goals netted.

Team News:

Anton Ferdinand (calf) remains on the Reading injury list with Jure Travner (minor groin operation) also sidelined.

Koby Arthur has returned to first team duties at Birmingham after recovering from a thigh injury while both Diego Fabbrini and Lloyd Dyer will be available after being unable to play against parent club Watford at the weekend. Robert Tesche could be omitted after fatigue enforced his withdrawal at half-time from the weekend action.

RECOMMENDATION: UNDER 2.5 GOALS

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