Birmingham City to Win – 13/10
Look, this isn’t a bizarre pick. If anything, it’s a strange price.
Offering a nice touch of odds-against about a team above their opposition, at home, on a short week, is generous.
The Blues have been slightly better at home this season than on their travels, but over the last number of years, Birmingham generally have been one of the best home sides in the football league.
Boro have shipped seven times in their four games on the road thus far, and they’ve yet to win a game. They won’t be winning here, either.
Both Teams to Score – 19/20
Despite their lowly efforts on the road, Middlesbrough generally haven’t struggled when out of possession – it’s more that they look clueless when they have to break teams down themselves.
They’ll be able to sit in and break at pace against a Birmingham team whose primary strength is playing off Lukas Jutkiewicz with their nimble wingers and Dan Crowley.
Their problem lies at the other end, where they’re susceptible to balls into the box, which Birmingham specialise in. A combination of Marc Roberts, Harlee Dean and Jutkiewicz are a serious cause for concern.
This one won’t be pretty, but it is somewhat predictable.
Over 2.5 Goals – 5/4
The primary reason for including this because of the uncertainty between the sticks for Birmingham.
A Lee Camp howler cost them a point in Wigan and David Stockdale has been cast away into the reserves and that’s despite being a significantly better goalkeeper than Camp or the Spanish lad they picked up as a PR stunt to try nab four or five more fans on their preseason tour.
It’s unlikely Camp is dropped at all, but even if he isn’t, the inconsistencies that plagued him while at Sunderland could come back and make his slightly-above-expectations performance levels at this point disappear into thin air.
Birmingham to Come From Behind and Win – 12/1
There’s no quit in this Birmingham City team. Maybe it’s to do with the partisan following they have regardless of their domestic performances, but when The Blues conceded at home, there’s always a sense they’ll come back.
That is a rare enough trait for a team who will be teetering just above the relegation zone come season’s end.
* All odds correct at time of posting.