West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City go head to head in the West Midlands derby on Wednesday having both endured mixed starts to the new Championship campaign.
After just three wins between them, the two sides occupy 16th and 21st places in the standings respectively ahead of their return to action for the first time since the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The fact that West Brom have collected nine points from eight matches is far from ideal as Steve Bruce looks to keep the club in the playoff hunt.
However, five of their six draws have come from losing positions, a sign that a squad which has been limited by injuries and transfer shortcomings are perfoming for their manager.
While the Baggies sit just one point above the bottom three, they will be relatively content of the fact that they are just four points adrift of the top six.
Like their upcoming opponents, clean sheets have been few and far between this season, their only shutout in the league coming at home to Cardiff City.
Of all the teams to end Preston’s long-standing clean-sheet record, Birmingham would have been the least expected gven their issues in front of goal.
The Blues have had a poor start to the season which has seen them mobe outside of the relegation zone on goal difference, but John Eustace will now feel that they have momentum on their side.
Their last of sting in the final third remains an issue with Scott Hogan the only player to contribute more than one goal or assist in the Championship during Birmingham’s opening eight matches.
However, the Blues’ defensive performances are keeping them in games so far this season, and there will be confidence that they can overcome a West Brom side who are showing similar inconsistency.
West Bromwich Albion vs Birmingham City head to head
These two teams have previously met on 102 occasions across all competitions, where West Brom have claimed 42 victories while Birmingham have won 32, and they have drawn in 28. Birmingham have scored 120 goals and conceded 139. In their last five meetings, West Brom have won three, Birmingham one with one draw.
Birmingham City 2-3 West Bromwich Albion 14/12/19
West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Birmingham City 20/06/20
Birmingham City 0-4 West Bromwich Albion 31/07/21
West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Birmingham City 15/10/21
Birmingham City 1-0 West Bromwich Albion 03/04/22
West Bromwich Albion latest home form
West Brom have recently been on a good run of form at home, having been unbeaten in their nine most recent matches. They played out a 1-1 draw with Burnley in their last home game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored eight goals and conceded four.
West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Watford 08/08/22
West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Sheffield United 11/08/22
West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Cardiff City 17/08/22
West Bromwich Albion 5-2 Hull City 20/08/22
West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Burnley 02/09/22
West Bromwich Albion latest away form
West Brom have recently failed to keep a good run of form on the road, having been winless in their five most recent matches. They drew 1-1 with Wigan Athletic in their last away game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored five goals and conceded seven.
Middlesbrough 1-1 West Bromwich Albion 30/07/22
Blackburn Rovers 2-1 West Bromwich Albion 14/08/22
Derby County 1-0 West Bromwich Albion 23/08/22
Huddersfield Town 2-2 West Bromwich Albion 27/08/22
Wigan Athletic 1-1 West Bromwich Albion 30/08/22
Birmingham City latest home form
Birmingham City have recently failed to keep a good run of form at home, having won just one of their five most recent matches. They lost 2-1 to Norwich City in their last home game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored six goals and conceded seven.
Birmingham City 2-2 Rayo Vallecano 23/07/22
Birmingham City 2-1 Huddersfield Town 05/08/22
Birmingham City 1-1 Watford 16/08/22
Birmingham City 0-1 Wigan Athletic 20/08/22
Birmingham City 1-2 Norwich City 30/08/22
Birmingham City latest away form
Birmingham City defeated Preston North End 1-0 in their last away game in the league. However, they have recently failed to keep a good run of form on the road, having been winless in their previous five games. In their last five matches, they have scored three goals and conceded five.
Luton Town 0-0 Birmingham City 30/07/22
Norwich City (P)2-2 Birmingham City 09/08/22
Cardiff City 1-0 Birmingham City 13/08/22
Rotherham United 2-0 Birmingham City 27/08/22
Preston North End 0-1 Birmingham City 03/09/22
West Bromwich Albion news
West Brom’s Jake Livermore is most likely to earn a recall in place of Jayson Molumby in midfield, with Brandon Thomas-Asante probably remaining on the substitiutes’ bench.
Taylor Gardner-Hickman is again expected to get the nod at righ-back at the expense of Darnell Furlong, with Bruce set to make minimal changes.
Birmingham City news
Barring any injury issues, Eustace could stick with the same Birmingham XI who saw off Preston last time out.
However, he does have alternatives available to him with Jordan James and Hannibal Mejbri both pushing for opportunities in midfield, while Przemyslaw Placheta may have to make do with a spot among replacements.
Prediction and Odds
All things considered, it would come as a surprise if there were many goals in this contest, given the lack of ruthlessness in front of goal in both sides.
Birmingham are capable of winning by the narrowest of margins, but we are backing the hosts to edge this contest on Wednesday.
Odds: 1 2.21 X 2.05 2 2.30
West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Birmingham City
West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Birmingham City
West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Birmingham City
West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Birmingham City
West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Birmingham City
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