Reading are having a very average season in the Championship and after coming off a 0-1 defeat to Bournemouth on Tuesday night they currently sit in 18th place on 47 points. Indeed since joining Reading Manager Steve Clarkes League record reads a none too outstanding W4, D8, L8 and Reading’s recent away record reads a very average W3, D4, L8.
When facing the Top 6 Championship sides reading’s away form is again poor and reads W3, D0, L7.Reading are yet to face a team from the Premier League in this season’s competition. However they have been drawn away from home in every round having beaten Championship sides Huddersfield, Cardiff, Derby and League 1 side Bradford City after a replay.
Since 2005 in all competitions the 2 sides have met 4 times at the Emirates and 4 times at the Madjeski Stadium, with Arsenal winning all 8 matches. If you do fancy Reading to do well here then your best option is certainly to keep an element of the 2 goal loss on your side and Reading can be backed on the Asian Handicap + 1.5/2 goals at around 1.93. The draw can be backed at around 6.55 and this offers no real value or appeal.
Arsenal are having an excellent season and they come into this semi-final in a very rich vein of form and after defeating Burnley 1-0 at Turf Moor Arsene Wenger’s side have now won their last 8 matches in all competitions. Arsenal recent Premier League away record reads W9, D1, L5.
When facing the bottom 6 sides away from home in the Premier League the Gunners away record reads a very solid looking W9, D0, L1 and Arsenal can be backed at around 1.25. This price can be enhanced by backing them on the -1.5/2 goal handicap at around 1.95.
When looking at the goal line which is set at 3 and when looking at both sides last 15 League away matches. In the 30 games, 4 or more goals have been seen in 6 matches, 3 goals have been seen in 12 and 2 or less have been seen in 11. My ratings suggest value in under 3 goals which can be backed at around 1.95
This should be a comfortable evening for the cup holders. However my ratings suggest there is value backing Reading on the +1.5/2 goal line. My ratings also suggest value in under 3 goals. The above certainly goes against the recent meetings of the 2 sides where the Gunners have dominated goal filled affairs. However only 1 of Arsenals last 11 away games in all competitions has seen 4 or more goals. Indeed if Arsenal can keep a clean sheet then you have to go back to December 2012 to find the last time Arsenal scored 4 or more goals away from the Emirates on English soil. Interestingly this game was a 5-2 victory against today’s opposition at the Madjeski Stadium.