Fri, Apr 1, 9:40am by Kevin Pitstock
After the joys of the Carling Cup, this is the other side of life for Birmingham City. They remain in real danger of relegation back out of the Premier League and have 9 games to save themselves. Home form was the bedrock of their success last season. Bolton look to be one of the few sides in the EPL who can actually relax a little bit. They are 7th and have no worries about Europe or relegation. Their season now rests on how they do in the FA Cup semi-final which is fast approaching. This game kicks off at 01:00 AST on Sunday.
BIRMINGHAM CITY PREVIEW
Birmingham ‘s pleasure in lifting a Wembley trophy has been brought into sharp relief by the league table. They are 19th, though it’s so tight down their that game in hand they have could prove vital. The Blues have not won in four matches since their Carling Cup victory and their loss to Wigan, in stoppage time, could prove particularly damaging. That sequence includes a home defeat by Bolton in the FA Cup – though they were severely hampered by injuries on that occasion. They still have worries over Barry Ferguson, who makes midfield tick, defender Martin Jiranek and the combative Lee Bowyer. Birmingham have struggled at home in comparison to last season, with just four home wins and they lack the consistency in selection they could enjoy last year that helped them do so well.
BOLTON WANDERERS PREVIEW
Bolton Wanderers are a dangerous proposition for bettors right now as they are that rare thing in the Premier League – a side with little to play for with their focus really on the FA Cup rather than the EPL. Teams in this situation will either react by playing well below their ability, or they can go the other way and feel relaxed. Bolton put in a good show in their last game, losing to a late Manchester United goal. Bolton also boast a good record in this fixture with 4 wins and a draw in the last five matches, while fans of striker Kevin Davies should note he enjoys playing against Birmingham, having scored in the last three games between the two sides. They are missing Stuart Holden though, and the American has been an important part of their success. Away wins have also been a problem for the Trotters, who have yet to pick up a Premiership victory away from the Reebok Stadium since November.
BIRMINGHAM CITY v BOLTON WANDERERS BEST BET
Bolton won late in the FA Cup, but the Birmingham side here is stronger and more motivated. This feels like a 1-1 draw, and we’d rank as a 3/5 bet, with the injury to Holden and Bolton’s motivation our concern – there does look to be value though at $3.25 with Centrebet.
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