Recently-relegated Bournemouth welcome Championship pace-setters Reading to Dean Court on Saturday. Mark O'Haire highlights the value...
"Reading’s early defensive foundations have gone awry in recent matches with the Royals shipping 11 of their 12 goals against in their most recent four games"
Bournemouth v Reading
Saturday November 21, 12:30
Bournemouth back to winning ways
David Brooks' double helped Bournemouth move up to fourth in the Championship after a comfortable 3-1 win at Birmingham before the international break. Arnaut Danjuma gave the Cherries an early lead as he calmly finished Junior Stanislas' through-ball before Brooks added the second with a deflected effort from 25 yards that wrong-footed the Blues keeper.
The Wales winger's second followed soon after the restart as he lashed home off the underside of the bar after reacting first to Dominic Solanke's powerful shot coming back off the post. Birmingham pulled a consolation back five minutes later, although Jason Tindall's outfit always appeared in control as they earned only a second success in seven matches.
Bournemouth were good value for their victory and could have had more than their three goals - the first time the side have scored that many in more than a month. Post-match the Cherries supremo said, "We spoke about our attacking play and taking our opportunities so I'm delighted to score three and deliver a really good winning performance."
Reading slide to third successive loss
Championship league leaders Reading suffered a third straight defeat in their most recent outing as Stoke capitalised on defensive errors at the Madejski Stadium to seize a 3-0 success. The pace-setting Royals dominated possession but found themselves 2-0 down at half-time following clinical finishes from Potters pair Tyrese Campbell and Steven Fletcher.
Alfa Semedo had earlier tested the visitors with two headers and Lewis Gibson missed a chance to pull one back before the break for the Berkshire hosts. Tomas Esteves and Sam Baldock shot narrowly wide for Reading in the second half, before Stoke substitute Jacob Brown added a third for the visitors deep into stoppage time to secure top honours.
Veljko Paunovic's men have seen their advantage at the top cut to just one point after their latest loss and the Serbian was unimpressed post-match, saying: "This is a serious league in which mistakes - in both boxes - can kill you. There is a mix of immaturity in some moments and a mix of fatigue, accumulation of games and injuries that we are going through."
Bournemouth and Reading are crossing swords for the first time since 2014/15, a campaign in which the Cherries returned home and away victories over the Royals en-route to Premier League promotion. The hosts have actually taken secured victory in each of the past four meetings between the pair, as well as four of the five Dean Court clashes this century.
Bournemouth 1.768/11 have suffered a solitary defeat since demotion and remain unbeaten on home soil this season (W3-D2-L0). Jason Tindall's team have silenced three visitors to Dean Court and only once shipped more than a solitary strike, with only two sides giving away fewer open play opportunities or shots from inside the penalty box.
Reading 5.104/1 were running hot at the start of the season, winning seven of their first eight games to establish a seven-point lead at the top of the table. However, expected regression has since seen the Berkshire boys lose three successive matches - leaking three goals in each - with Liam Moore's injury and elementary defensive mistakes largely to blame.
Dean Court contests have rarely been thrill-a-minute affairs - three of five fixtures have featured a maximum of one goal - with the Cherries finding the going tough when asked to breakdown deep-lying defences. Even so, Bournemouth's most recent performance suggests the hosts are starting to click into gear from an attacking standpoint.
In contrast, Reading's early defensive foundations have gone awry in recent matches with the Royals shipping 11 of their 12 goals against in their most recent four games, suggesting both Over 2.5 Goals 1.9520/21 and Both Teams To Score 1.855/6 could be of interest if the two teams follow the same patterns before the international break.
The more appetising angle of attack is backing the latter option considering it's already landed in seven of Bournemouth's 11 outings, with the pair also failing to notch in only five of their combined 22 Championship clashes thus far.
Mark's 2020/21 Profit/Loss
Staked: 35.00 pts
Returned: 42.28 pts
P/L: +7.28 pts