Sorry Spurs need to be opposed at the Madejski

Reading Tottenham

Sunday – 4.00pm

ANDRE Villas-Boas had a nightmare introduction to the Premier League as Chelsea boss last season and that nightmare is showing no signs of stopping after the early rounds of this campaign. Tottenham had a tricky opening fixture at Newcastle and defeat to the Magpies was certainly no disgrace. However, since then they have drawn two eminently winnable home games against West Brom and Norwich.

It hasn’t been the start the Portuguese was looking for and although he made some decent signings during the transfer window, he is now under pressure to earn his first win. A trip to the Madejski Stadium to take on newly-promoted Reading wouldn’t normally fill a team of Spurs’s stature with trepidation, but there are bound to be nerves on Sunday and it could be the day to take on the north London side.

Reading have only played two games so far this season and a draw at home against Stoke on the opening day was followed by an unlucky 4-2 defeat at Chelsea when Fernando Torres scored from a clearly offside position. Brian McDermott will have taken plenty of encouragement from his side’s display at Stamford Bridge and he will be demanding another strong performance in front of the Sky cameras back in Berkshire.

There is definitely potential within this Royals squad and their home form will determine whether they stay up or not. The Madejski is never an easy place to go and Reading have only lost one of their last 15 league games on home soil. They will trouble a number of the top sides this season and I expect them to do exactly that against a nervous Spurs team.

Spurs are the even money favourites with Coral and that is too short for a side that has taken just two points from a possible nine. I was actually tempted by the 11/4 with the same firm for a home win, but the safer option is to back Reading draw no bet at 7/4 on Betfair.

Both teams have scored in their opening three games across all competitions and I expect the same again in this match. Sporting Index quote goals at 2.6-2.8 and there seems little downside in buying at 2.8. Spurs’ normally solid defence appears weaker this term and, although Pavel Pogrebnyak looks like continuing to be a real handful for Premier League backlines, the Royals are likely to ship goals too.

■ Pointers…

Reading draw no bet at 7/4 on Betfair
Buy total goals at 2.8 with Sporting Index