Wed, Feb 2, 7:11pm by Kevin Pitstock
On first glance this match looks like a match that Man City will come away with comfortably. The Sky Blues need to be picking up all three points in matches like these if they are going to lodge a legitimate claim on the 10/11 EPL title.
Upon closer look though you’ll notice that Birmingham City aren’t going to be an easy beat by any stretch of the imagination. They have solid home form and are alive and kicking in their cup aspirations for the season. It has been 5.5 years since Man City has beaten Birmingham City at St Andrews. Can they continue that trend?
This match will kick off at 6:45am on February 3rd for Australians. For your information, the match will be played at night time of the 2nd of February over at St James’ Park.
Birmingham City Preview
Birmingham have impressed many on their way to an unlikely berth in the Carling Cup final against Arsenal. They fended off a spirited West Ham outfit and then rested a few of their key players on the weekend to progress in the FA Cup.
Birmingham City’s home form so far in the 2010/11 season is 6-3-3. But an interesting fact is that they have not won at home since they beat Chelsea all the way back in November of 2010. In their last 8 league matches, they have only won once. Could their recent success in the Carling Cup be masking the fact that they are in terrible form?
A question that manager Alex McLeish will have to answer is whether or not to play new signing Obafemi Martins? After missing out on Robbie Keane when he snubbed them for a loan to West Ham, Martins looks like a prime candidate to score goals and help pull Birmingham out of their scrap for relegation survival.
Manchester City Preview
Man City had remained unbeaten six away matches in a row until Aston Villa stopped that in their last away match. That coupled with the fact that City have one just once in the last four matches at St James’ park makes for an interesting prospect.
City are yet to score an away goal in 2011, and have their main marksmen in Tevez only just recovering from a back injury. They do welcome Edin Dzeko into their squad though as they were again busy in the transfer window.
Birmingham City vs Manchester City Tip and Prediction
If you like to go by history, form lines and stats then you can be forgiven for thinking that this will end in a 1-1 draw. Birmingham have had several 1-1 draws and home, and Manchester don’t seem to be able to win at St Andrews. Having not won in 5.5 years is a litle worrying to say the least. That with not scoring an away goal in 2011 adds to the uneasyness of backing them here.
Records are meant to be broken though. The stats are pointing to Birmingham snagging a draw and providing decent value for the punter, but I just can’t see them winning. Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea all won over night so the crew from Eastlands will be looking to ramp the pressure right up on their opponents.
If you are more of a stats guy, then go with the +0.5 about Birmingham City as you will get $1.96 at Sportingbet Australia.
I don’t think this is the best play here, and am tipping a Manchester City victory. My prediction is for plenty of goals to be had, and City to come away with a 3-1 victory.
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