Bristol City v Birmingham City – Championship 30 January 2016
Bristol City were unable to climb out of the relegation places after losing 1-0 away to Leeds Utd last weekend. The Robins are still without a manager and lack direction at a time when they need it most. Birmingham City will be tough to cope with in this encounter.
The statistics would suggest that Bristol City should struggle because they play this game at home. A return of 14 points after 14 games means that Bristol were ranked dead last in the league on the basis of home form. They did manage to beat Middlesbrough 1-0 in their previous home game, but this is more down to Boro delivering a subpar performance.
Nevertheless, Bristol have managed to keep the score closer in their recent games. A 4-0 defeat to Burnley at the end of December has been followed by three league defeats that were only by a single goal. Although Bristol are without a manager, they have managed to tighten up in defence and could make Birmingham work for all three points.
Birmingham City have won four from their last five games to climb to the edge of the promotion places. A victory against the Championship’s worst home team could be enough to push Birmingham into the top-six. Additionally, Birmingham are ranked as the second-best away team in the league, which suggests that they have the quality to take the three points here.
The Blues have delivered a healthy return of 23 points from 14 games after scoring 21 and conceding just 14. In fact, they perhaps should have taken even more points. Manager Gary Rowett needs to wring every ounce of potential out of his players if they are to be a competitive force in the playoffs.
Tip one: Birmingham @ 2.80 with Betfair
Tip two: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.65 with Betfair
Bristol City are favourites at 2.30, but this is surprising for a game where the league’s worst home team is playing the second-best away team. Meanwhile, Bristol City have kept their recent games close, so under 2.5 goals could be the outcome at 1.65.