Birmingham City will face off against Bristol City at St. Andrew’s in the midweek fixture in the EFL Championship. The home side will be looking to stretch their winning streak to four matches while the away side would want to follow through on their recent home victory against Barnsley. Can Birmingham City make it four matches in a row?
Birmingham City continued their winning form in the Championship last weekend as they secured a 2-0 win away over Middlesbrough. Before their victory against Middlesbrough, they overcame Swansea 2-1 at home. Troy Deeney scored the opening goal for Birmingham in the 47th minute after which Swansea levelled the score through Obafemi in the 77th minute. Deeney then created another goal which was tapped into the back of the net by McGree. Birmingham’s back-to-back wins places them in 14th spot in the Championship with five wins, four draws and six losses in their 15 games. After struggling for form in September and most of October, Birmingham seem to have revived their season and they would be looking to build on their recent victories when they welcome Bristol City. Maxime Colin and Marcel Oakley are set to remain out for this fixture while Kristian Pedersen is also doubtful after coming off with a hamstring issue. Other than that, Lee Bowyer should pick the same starting eleven as the one against Middlesbrough.
In their previous game in the Championship, Birmingham scored two goals within three minutes in the second half to take all three points. Marc Roberts opened the scoring for Birmingham after heading the ball into an empty net, soon after that Scott Hogan added another to make the scoreline 2-0 at the final whistle. Scott Hogan also had the highest xG in the match. Despite falling behind in terms of multiple attacking metrics, Birmingham took their opportunities and ensured that they come out on top.
Birmingham are placed eighth in the Championship both in terms of expected goals and expected goals per 90 which indicates that they are creating high-quality goal scoring chances. Their xG ranks them amongst teams who are placed above them in the points table.
Bristol City are placed 15th in the Championship with five wins, four draws and six losses in their 15 games. They finally put an end to their poor form at home, stretching all the way back to August, with a win over Barnsley. Bristol City’s overall form in the league has also been a mixed bag with only two victories in October. Nigel Pearson’s men will be looking to use their recent home victory as a springboard to revive their form as they head into their first encounter in November. They would also want to improve their head-to-head record against Birmingham as the latter side holds the advantage. Tommy Conway, Robbie Cundy, Antoine Semenyo, Andy King, Joe Williams and Nathan Baker are all unavailable as they are still nursing injuries. Jay Dasilva should be in contention for starting eleven for the match against Birmingham.
In their previous game against Barnsley, Bristol City came from behind to secure all three points at home. Andreas Weimann’s double in the first half provided Bristol City with the advantage in the first half. Barnsley came back strong in the second half, but the home side held on till the final whistle as indicated by both xT and xG timelines.
Bristol City’s high success rate in aerial duels can be seen in the above chart. They are placed sixth both in terms of successful aerial duels and successful aerial duels per 90.
Birmingham City (3-4-3) -Sarkic; Sanderson, Roberts, Friend; Graham, Sunjic, Gardner, Bela; McGree, Hogan; Deeney.
Bristol City (4-3-1-2) – Bentley; Tanner, Kalas, Atkinson, Dasilva; Massengo, James, Bakinson; Weimann; Wells, Martin.
Both the clubs are level on points in the Championship table and are looking to build upon their recent victory. A draw is a likely scenario for this one.