By Josh Powell | Sports writer
10 points away from safety with just five games to go. Nigel Adkins and his Reading side have every reason to start preparing for life in the Championship next season as the Royals prepare to crash out of the top flight.
They have the worst away record in the league, the worst goal difference, they haven’t won a game since February 2 and they’ve picked up just one point from a possible 24. It makes for more depressing reading than Neil Warnock’s memoirs.
But it is not quite goodnight Vienna for Reading. Mathematically they can still stay up but maths doesn’t account for playing most of the season with Adrian Mariappa at centre-back.
Paddy Power has already come to terms with Noel Hunt and co lighting up Elland Road next season and priced Reading up at 1/200 to get relegated. That converts to a 0.005 per cent chance of staying in the Premier League which Paddy describes as ‘generous’.
The atmosphere around the Madejski is as gloomy as a dinner party with the Match Of The Day panel but the Paddy Power Blog is here to lift those spirits. Here are 13 thoroughly and extensively researched events less likely to happen to you than Reading surviving the drop.
0.005% Reading Staying up
0.000977% Predicting a coin flip correctly 10 times in a row
0.000276% Getting injured while mowing your lawn
0.000143% You’re considered to be possessed by Satan
0.000125% Having triplets
0.000087% Winning an Oscar
0.0000833% Finding a pearl in an oyster
0.0000114% Dating a supermodel
0.00000033% Spotting a UFO tonight
0.0000000715% Winning the lotto jackpot
0.00000005% Becoming a Saint
0.0000000313% Being fatally attacked by a mountain lion in California
0.000000004% Getting killed by a falling coconut
0.000000000000255% Your house getting hit by an asteroid
If you don’t fancy your chances of becoming a saint or winning an Oscar than you probably won’t want to back Reading to stay in the league either. They’re a pretty short price to go down though so unless you frequently find wads of Benjamins down the back of the couch it might be worth taking a look elsewhere in the relegation market.
Luckily Mr Aidan Elder has had a look at each teams run-in and sarcastically abused each of them in equal measure so that you can inform your relegation betting.