A magnificent performance from nine-man Brighton at the Amex last weekend and manager Gus Poyet was rightly proud of his players and the magnificent support they received in the face of what can only be described as a bizarre performance by the referee.
Romain Vincelot and Ashley Barnes, following an unsuccessful appeal, are suspended for the trip to the Madejski Stadium on Boxing Day for a game against a Reading side who are one of the inform sides in the Championship.
A win for the Seagulls would see them leapfrog the Royals in the Championship table but this is a big ask given Brian McDermott’s side have won four of their last five in the league including wins against promotion chasing West Ham and Leeds in their last couple of games.
The Royals are 4/5 to make it three wins on the bounce with Brighton 4/1 and the draw 5/2 at victorchandler.com. Reading have only conceded one goal in their last three games and the Seagulls last four games have finished 1-0 so the statisticians will tell you goals will be at a premium.
Reading to score the only goal of the game is 5/1 and a 1-0 win for the Seagulls is 10/1; two or fewer goals in the game is 8/11 with even money for three or more goals in the game. Under three goals looks the most logical call but logic goes out of the window at Xmas; just ask Father Christmas.
West Ham remain Victor Chandler’s 11/8 favourites for the Title with leaders Southampton out to 15/8 following their draw with bitter rivals Portsmouth last Sunday. Boro 9s from 12s after their win at Cardiff and Reading 40 from 100/1 earlier in the month are the big movers. Brighton are out to 100/1 to win the League and 12s from 10s to be promoted. Reading are 8/1 to be promoted and I think that looks a very fair price; they certainly won’t be 8s if they reach the play-offs.
Whilst any team can beat any other on any given day in the Championship, the Premier League’s elite six are head and shoulders above the rest and once again they are hard to oppose over the Festive period. I would leave the early West London Derby out but suggest Arsenal (h Wolves), L’Pool (h Blackburn), United (h Wigan), City (a WBA), and Spurs (a Norwich on 27th) looks worth an acca. The bet pays over 4/1 and that looks a fair price.
Have a great Xmas and prosperous New Year from all at Victor Chandler.