Birmingham v Sheffield Wednesday - Saturday 17:30, Sky Sports 1
Gary Rowett has called for more attacking verve from his players after they played out a goalless draw at Reading in midweek. The clean sheet at the Madejski was Birmingham’s third in a row but the lack of any clear-cut opportunities to win the game flagged up concerns that a lack the creativity in their build-up might prevent Blues from troubling the top six this term.
With Greg Stewart and Lukas Jutkiewicz recently added to the ranks, keeping striker Clayton Donaldson on his toes, Blues aren’t short of options to feed on whatever service the midfielders can provide and Rowett can be trusted to find any opposition weak spots early on in games. On that basis, there’s value in backing Birmingham to win the first half at 13/5.
Since the start of last season, Blues have been ahead at the break in 11 out of 25 home games (implied odds of around 5/4) and they now come up against a Wednesday that has been consistently slow out of the blocks this term. The Owls have mustered only two goals in six hours of first-half action and had to come from two down to beat Bristol City 3-2 in midweek.
That was the third game in succession that Carlos Carvalhal’s men have rescued points from a losing position, following on the from a 1-1 draw at Brentford and the 2-1 home win over Wigan, and it might be worth pursuing a fourth consecutive fightback with a bet on the Birmingham/Draw half time/full time outcome at 17/1.