Leeds Ready For Birmingham Bashing!Stats
Birmingham v Leeds
Birmingham v Leeds gets this weekend’s Championship action underway at 12:15 on Saturday…
Just five points from five games leave Birmingham lingering towards the bottom of the Championship table. After an opening day defeat to Middlesbrough there was, however, some encouraging signs to come from a win against Brighton then draws with Ipswich and at Brentford. But a 4-0 loss to Wigan last time out, a fortnight ago, brought any increasing confidence levels crashing back to the ground.
The aforementioned win against Brighton was Birmingham’s only win in their last 20 home league fixtures, although they are also unbeaten at St Andrews in the Championship this season.
No Birmingham player has scored more than a single league goal this season, but Paul Caddis and Clayton Donaldson each have two to their name when including Capital One Cup games.
Managerless Leeds find themselves just one point better off than Birmingham in the embryonic Championship table. Dave Hockaday was a surprise summer appointment at Elland Road and the former Forest Green manager lasted just six games in charge. During that period he oversaw a league win over Middlesbrough but suffered defeats at Millwall, Brighton and Watford before exiting the Capital One Cup at the hands of Bradford in his final game at the helm.
There was an immediate uplift in fortunes as Neil Redfearn took temporary charge of first team affairs at the club and their season’s points tally doubled in a 1-0 win over Bolton. Redfearn will remain in charge for this weekend’s game as a host of names continue to be linked with the vacant position.
The Blues have brought in USA international Brek Shea on an emergency three-month loan and he could go straight into the starting XI here. The 24-year-old winger joined from Stoke to compensate for recent injuries to Lee Novak, Denny Johnstone and Olly Lee.
In his first game in charge Neil Redfearn drafted a handful of youngsters into his first-team squad and he could be tempted to do something similar here. Leeds brought in Brian Montenegro, Adryan and Dario Del Fabro on season-long loan deals towards the close of the transfer window, while Souleymane Doukara signed a permanent deal. Matt Smith and Dominic Poleon have left the club.
Leeds were convincing victors in both meetings between the clubs last season winning 3-1 at St Andrews and 4-0 at Elland Road.
Matt Smith scored three goals in the two games.
The previous campaign, however, Birmingham won both league meetings by a 1-0 scoreline, while Leeds progressed to the next round following a replay when the clubs met in the FA Cup.
On form so far this season there is very little to chose between the two teams and I therefore think that the 5/2 available on a Leeds win is too big. Especially as both the players and manager are potentially playing for their future and showed what kind of positive effect that can have in the 1-0 Bolton victory a fortnight ago. Birmingham look unappealing at odds of 6/5, while the visitors can be backed with a more conservative approach at 29/20 in the Draw No Bet market.
The First Goalscorer market is a wide-open one with 13 players available at odds shorter than 10/1. Of them, Souleymane Doukara looks to offer the best value at odds of 7/1. The Frenchman can also be backed at odds of 11/4 to score anytime.