Are we in store for another Birmingham borefest?
The lovely people at Sky have treated us to third televised Championship match involving Birmingham City! Garry Monk’s men have been the league’s great entertainers so far: scoring four goals and conceding six in their six matches. They have yet to register a Championship win this season, and the visit of local rivals West Brom poses another tough challenge for the Blues.
Darren Moore’s side are the division’s top-scorers – admittedly seven of their 15 goals have been scored against QPR – and they should go into this one pretty confident; their last result was a 2-1 win over the not-so-impressive Stoke City, but despite the Potters’ struggles this season, it’s still a good confidence booster.
Birmingham have drawn their three home games this season, but I’m backing their unbeaten run at St. Andrew’s to end. West Brom’s strike-force of Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez is as good as you’ll find in the Championship, and although I can’t see them blowing the hosts away, I’m tipping the Baggies to emerge from this with all three points.
The aforementioned Gayle and Rodriguez have seven league goals between them this season – the former fresh from bagging a brace against Stoke. To their credit, Birmingham have kept three clean sheets this campaign, but I would be surprised to see them shut out a West Brom side who have only failed to score away at Middlesbrough.
Gayle’s 23 league goals for Newcastle in their promotion season in 2016/17 is testament to his quality in the second tier, and it’s looking likely he will enjoy a similarly successful campaign with the Baggies.
I’m backing Dwight Gayle to score at any time in this one.
I’m not expecting there to be a flurry of goals in this. Garry Monk is a pragmatic manager who will probably take a bore draw against West Brom in all honesty. My final tip is a nice request-a-bet I have used a few times, and it’s generally served me well when tipping matches containing teams of Birmingham’s ilk.
I appreciate I may have been a little mean about Birmingham City in this preview, but sadly the numbers speak for themselves!
Under 1.5 goals in the first half, under 2.5 goals second half and either team to win is my final tip for this Friday night showdown.