- Luton are unbeaten since the restart, holding Leeds to a 1-1 draw in midweek.
- Reading have failed to win since returning, suffering consecutive losses.
- The Royals have won only once away to the league’s bottom six.
- The Hatters have conceded only twice in three games.
Luton on the up
Nathan Jones has wasted no time in his return to Luton, having produced a three-game unbeaten run to boost their survival hopes. The former Stoke boss left the Hatters 18 months ago, but he’s returned to try and save them after kicking off their promotion campaign from League One.
So far, Jones has given Luton an excellent chance of beating the drop. Their 1-1 draw at Leeds in midweek has seen them take five points from three games since the restart. They still sit bottom for now, but a victory against Reading could propel them towards safety. Our predictions suggest that the Hatters are good value to edge out the struggling Royals.
Reading are sat in 16th, with little to play for in the run-in. They are realistically a couple of points shy of confirming their place in the Championship next term, but there are enough places between them and the bottom three to assume they are going to steer clear of trouble. That comfort could become complacency, which a fired-up Luton side can take advantage of.
The visitors have lost their last two matches, with Brentford completely outclassing them at the Madjeski on Tuesday night. A loss at Derby last weekend was another blow, but the Royals’ bad run might not be done yet. Not only have they lost seven times on the road this season, they’ve failed to win four of their five visits to the league’s bottom six. That makes them vulnerable to a side who are in need of the points.
Solid Hatters can edge this clash
Luton are looking strong under Jones, so we think the value lies with them here. They have claimed seven home wins this term, while they are unbeaten in six matches. They come into this clash looking strong, while Reading seem to have eased off. That’s left the Hatters in great form, while they’ve lost only one of their last nine matches, picking up four victories. We think that return can lift them to a win on Saturday, while the hosts are well-priced by the bookies considering how good their recent run has been.
Reading have lost 1-0 on four occasions on the road, while three of Luton’s last four wins have come by that scoreline. At home this term the Hatters have claimed six of their seven victories by a one-goal margin, while their defensive record of late has been excellent given that they’ve shipped only two goals at the likes of Swansea, Preston and Leeds – teams who are hoping to be in the Premier League next term. As a result, we see Luton holding off Reading and a 1-0 home win is our correct score prediction.