Betting: Norwich City underdogs against Reading despite the way Premier League table looks
The positive, uplifting effect of three Norwich City victories in four matches will need to be evident tomorrow when they travel to face a Reading side yet to record a Premier League win.
The pair last met in the Championship two seasons ago when they drew 3-3 at the 'Mad Stad' and Grant Holt was dismissed, then City secured a 2-1 win at Carrow Road with Holt scoring a late, late winner.
As Norwich's poor away form continues to haunt them – they've won only once in their last 11 fixtures away from Carrow Road – backing the match draw (5/2, Stan James), appears to make good sense.
It's a fixture City kick off as bet365's 23/10 underdogs – surprisingly long given that they're four places above Reading in the Premier League table. However, it's home advantage which ensures that the Royals start as BetVictor's 6/5 favourites – they've suffered only one home defeat this season.
Each of Norwich's last three league victories have been by a margin of one goal and another single-goal success tomorrow is rated a 4/1 shot by Paddy Power.
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Yet given their apparent inability to defend when away from home (it's now 38 top flight away matches since Norwich kept a clean sheet), the same firm's 7/2 for City to prevent Reading from scoring has proved less appealing. Much the same could be said for BetVictor's hefty 5/1 for Norwich to win without conceding, although that 'no clean sheet' burden must surely be lifted soon.
In other markets, Holt is 7/1 (Stan James) to open the scoring, while William Hill consider the Canaries an 8/11 shot to win when handed the benefit of an artificial one-goal start. Elsewhere, Ladbrokes post 13/2 about Norwich emerging victorious following a drawn opening half.
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For all of the optimism enveloping Carrow Road, however, backers not anticipating a goalfest may fancy the look of bet365's 4/5 for the match to yield fewer than 2.5 goals. The most popular outcome in the correct score markets is a 1-1 draw, available at 6/1 with Skybet.