Competition: Football League Championship
Fixture: Birmingham City v Derby County
Date: Friday, August 21, 2015
Venue: St. Andrew’s Stadium, Birmingham
Kick off time: 19:45 hrs GMT
Birmingham City are set to welcome Derby County to the St. Andrew’s this week as the two sides kick off the fourth round of matches in the English Championship.
Birmingham’s form: L-L-W-W-D
Hosts Birmingham are currently ninth in the league standings with 4 points from 2 games. They kick started their campaign with a 2-1 win over Reading. David Cotterill and Jan Toral scored either side of half-time as Birmingham went on to win.
Birmingham’s next fixture saw them clash against Bristol Rovers in the League Cup. The game saw three goals scored in eleven minutes in the second half. Andrew Shinnie scored what proved to be the decisive goal for Birmingham in the 68th minute. The side played Burnley in the last round of fixtures with the match ending in a 2-2 draw. Toral and Paul Caddis hit the back of the net for Birmingham on that occasion.
Derby County’s form: W-D-L-D-D
Derby’s season thus far has been quite mediocre. They are unbeaten in the league but have failed to win any of their matches. They were also dumped out of the League Cup by Portsmouth.
The Rams started with a goalless draw on the road at Bolton Wanderers and followed it up with a 1-1 draw at home against Charlton Athletic. Chris Martin’s equalizer in the 68th minute rescued the point for Derby on August 15. Derby were at home against Middlesbrough last weekend and as expected, it turned out to be a cagey affair with Middlesbrough contend to defend after taking an early lead. It proved to be their undoing as Johnny Russell equalized in the 88th minute.
Key Players and Team News
Birmingham City: Toral is their top-scorer in all competitions so far this season and he will look to make an impact once again on Friday. Birmingham could go top with a win and this is an opportunity that they would not like to miss.
Derby County: Chris Martin will be the man who will be tasked with the tough job of getting goals for the side. The former Norwich striker has a decent track-record and he would be relishing at the challenge.
Both sides have been playing in the Championship for a while now and have met each other quite regularly. Four of the last five fixtures between the two sides have been high scoring affairs.
Three of the last five games between the two sides have ended in a draw and while both sides have won one game each during this period. Birmingham’s last win in this fixture came back in 2013. I will be going with a high scoring draw (3.35 with Unibet) for this fixture.