On Friday 15th April 2022, 18th-placed Birmingham City take on 10th-placed Coventry City at the St. Andrews stadium in the EFL Championship. In the reverse fixture back in November 2021, it was a goalless draw. Coming into this game, Birmingham City lost 0-2 away at Nottingham Forest, and Coventry stunned the league leaders Fulham by winning 3-1 away at Craven Cottage.
Birmingham City come into this game with a 0-2 away loss against Nottingham Forest. This defeat leaves Birmingham with a record of 11 wins, 12 draws, and 18 losses. Defensively, Birmingham have been one of the worst-performing teams this season, according to xGA. The metric predicted Birmingham to let in 46 goals, but they have conceded 16 goals, a difference of -16.
Seen in the above diagram is the shot map of Birmingham City this season. The attack of Birmingham City has not fared much better than its defence either. Birmingham players have missed several big chances which had an xG value of 0.4 or greater. The team has taken just above 11 shots for every goal it has scored. Scott Hogan is Birmingham’s leading goalscorer, with 10 goals to his name.
Marc Roberts is Birmingham’s most successful threat creator this campaign. But most of his threat comes from set-pieces, particularly his throw-ins. From open play, it is the goalkeeper Matija Sarkic who has been the leading threat creator for Birmingham. Jeremie Bela is the second-most successful threat creator for Birmingham this season.
Coventry City come into this game having shocked the league leaders Fulham by beating them 3-1 away at Craven Cottage. This win means Coventry have a record of 16 wins, 11 draws, and 14 losses, so far this season. In spite of the big win against Fulham, Coventry are actually underperforming in attack this season. The Sky Blues have netted 54 goals, but they should have scored 63 times, according to xG, an underperformance of -9 goals.
Given above are the performances of Coventry City in the EFL Championship relative to the rest of the league. Coventry have an xG per 90 of 1.41 (71st percentile), but their goals per 90 are only 1.14 (55th percentile). The Sky Blues have completed around 64% of their passes into the final third this season, putting them in the top 12%. This shows that Coventry are good at progressing the ball, but they have struggled to capitalise on their chances.
This is a clash between a massively underperforming defence of Birmingham City and an underperforming attack of Coventry City. These underperformances could be the reason why both teams are stuck in the middle of the table.