On Tuesday evening, Reading host Brentford at the Madejski Stadium.
I've had this game on my radar for quite some time and after watching Brentford - West Bromwich Albion on Friday, I'm yet again very impressed with the intensity and overall quality of the Bees' defence and it's my firm view that the odds market overestimate the prospect of the Royals scoring on Tuesday (I would argue that the probability of Reading not scoring is closer to 50% than the 40% the odds currently suggests).
When Mark Bowen took over the reins in mid-October, the Royals were in relegation trouble but have climbed to the relative safety of 14th place since. There has been a drop in created shots and shots on target and a rise in conceded shots and shots on target in the process; but the old left back, schooled with Mark Hughes and Steve Bruce, have indeed made Reading harder to beat.
Reading create below the league average of shots and shots on target so far in the Championship this season.
Looking at home games against top 6 teams specifically, only relegation contenders Charlton and Huddersfield have created fewer shots on target than Reading so far this season, Reading creating on average 2.80 shots on target per game.
Only 6 teams have a worse shoot percentage than Reading so far this season, the Berkshire outfit scoring some 32% of the created shots on target.
The Bees made an impressive return after the lockdown, beating promotion rivals Fulham on the road. Actually, Brentford was the only top 6 team collecting 3 points last time out and making the battle for automatic promotion and play-off spots even more intriguing.
After beating West Bromwich Albion as well, Thomas Frank's men occupy 3rd spot with 66 points, just 5 points short of an automatic promotion spot and a 9 point cushion in the play-off race (one more game played though).
Only Leeds have conceded fewer shots and shots on target than Brentford so far this season, Brentford conceding on average 9.05 shots and 3.11 shots on target per game.
Counting away games only, no other team have conceded fewer shots and shots on target than Brentford so far this season, Brentford conceding on average 9.30 shots and 3.28 shots on target per game.
Looking at away games against bottom half teams specifically, no other team have conceded fewer shots on target on than Brentford so far this season, the west London club conceding on average 2.80 shots on target per game.
Only 4 teams have a better save percentage than Brentford so far this season, David Raya saving some 72% of the faced shots on target.
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Reading is one of the teams creating the fewest numbers of shots and shots on target when facing top 6 teams at home.
Brentford is the team conceding the fewest numbers of shots and shots on target when facing bottom half teams on the road.
My Betting Tip is Home Team Exact Goals: 0.
Stake at 7.5/10 units.