One of the ties of the Carling Cup first round takes place at The Valley on Tuesday night, with Charlton Athletic available at a very tasty price to claim the scalp of Championship side Reading, a result that would incorrectly be described as an upset.
After all, the Addicks are among the favourites to gain promotion from League One this season after considerable investment and the 21/10 (bet365 – £200 free bets) about Chris Powell’s team landing victory simply looks too big based on their supreme performance against Bournemouth on Saturday where they won 3-0.
Dale Stephens arrived from Oldham in the summer and the midfielder scored a brace against the Cherries to demonstrate why Charlton splashed out for him. Strangely, bet365 offer 16/1 about him scoring the first goal against a Reading side that needed two late goals to draw at home to Millwall on Saturday.
The Royals are set to lose Shane Long after West Brom came in with a successful bid at the start of the week, although Brian McDermott’s team are the 11/8 favourites (Ladbrokes) to make their class tell in this Carling Cup tie.
Naturally, promotion from the Championship is the priority for the Berkshire club, although Reading have enjoyed some good runs in the FA Cup recently and Mathieu Manset will surely be given a start in this game after two excellent goals against the Lions.
The Frenchman is an 8/1 chance (bet365) to score the first goal, with Charlton’s Bradley Wright-Phillips (6/1 William Hill) also likely to be a popular bet.