Steve Clarke hoping Reading can inflict FA Cup shock on Derby
Championship clubs Derby County and Reading have already faced each other twice this season in the league, with the former winning both to nil. The hosting Rams, therefore, are odds-on 4/5 chances for victory again, and a more enticing 21/10 to beat them without conceding.
Steve McClaren’s men are also flying high in the second tier, in third place and just one point off the top, and have won six of their last eight in the league.
But Reading boss Steve Clarke knows his side have the ability to cause a shock, and can take heart from other surprise defeats this competitions this year so far.
“We’re one of the underdogs, but I think you’ve got to put Bradford [City] as an underdog as well, they had an amazing result in the last round,” he said.
“But it’s been a Cup of shocks this season and if we went to Derby and won it would be classed as a shock.
“It would only be a small shock, but we’ve worked hard to get to this stage and we’re going to work even harder to get to the quarter-finals.”
The Royals, who are down in 14th in the Championship, have won two of their last three games in the league and remarkably beaten Derby at the IPro Stadium in three of their last four visits. They are tempting 7/2 chances for victory, therefore.
For the Rams, Chris Martin and Johnny Russell have been on target against Reading this season, and are respective 10/11 and 5/4 chances to net again anytime.
McClaren can also turn to on-loan Premier League players Darren Bent (from Aston Villa) and Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), who are evens and 5/4 in the same market.
Reading, meanwhile, will be hoping former Everton and Portsmouth hero Yakubu can roll back the years and grab a goal. He came off the bench against Leeds United for his debut last time out in a 2-0 loss, but is 11/4 to score anytime and 8/1 to strike last.