Birmingham City play host to Derby County on Matchday 6 of the 21-22 EFL Championship season. Birmingham are yet to register a victory at home so far this season, and would surely hope to win and go up to third in the Championship standings as this will be the first match of the weekend to be played on Friday evening. On the other hand, Wayne Rooney’s men would like to register their 2nd win for the season to go above Birmingham and potentially into the top six.
Lee Bowyer’s men have had a decent start to the season, winning two and drawing one of their 3 away games so far. Their home form has been a little questionable with a draw and a defeat from two games. Defence has been the key for the Blues so far, as they have the joint-best defensive record in the Championship conceding just three goals in the first five games. They will hope to carry on with their impressive defensive record against Derby County.
Rooney’s Derby have not had the greatest start to the season, as they have six points from the first five games. They have played three games at home and drawn all three, while have a victory and a loss away from home. The main key to Derby County’s performance has also been their defence, conceding just four goals from the first five games. Their defensive record only lags behind this week’s opponents Birmingham and league leaders Fulham.
The main problem that the Blues are facing till now has been passing, as they have not been able to accumulate a lot of passes. They have the third least total passes so far in the entire league(1365), which is quite low when compared to Derby County(1974). Accumulating the passes can be helpful for Derby as they will have more of the ball, and can create more chances.
Birmingham City have been lucky so far when it comes to injuries. They have just one player who is ruled out of Friday’s game, Neil Etheridge, who is out due to Covid-19. Lee Bowyer will most probably put in his strongest eleven to take Wayne Rooney’s men as he would love to break into the top three.
Birmingham City’s Predicted Starting XI(3-4-3_: GK -Matija Sarkic; CBs – Marc Roberts, Harlee Dean and Krystian Pederson, RWB – Maxime Colin, CDMs – Gary Gardner, Ryan Woods, LWB – Jérémie Bela, RW – Tahith Chong, LW – Lukas Jutkiewicz, ST – Scott Hogan
The main problem that the Rams face is in their ability to attack and get into the opponent’s penalty area. They have the least number of touches in opponent’s penalty areas(53), which is quite low when compared to Birmingham City(80).
Rooney does not have any new injury updates in his squad. The three unavailable players are Kazim-Richards, Jason Knight and Krystian Bielik have been out since the beginning of the season with an Achilles tendon, ankle and cruciate ligament injuries respectively. Derby should aim for the victory in this game considering Birmingham’s not so good home form.
Derby County’s Predicted Starting XI(4-2-3-1: GK – Kelle Roos, RB – Nathan Bryne, CBs – Phil Jagielka and Curtis Davies, LB – Craig Forsyth, CDMs – Graeme Shinnie and Max Bird, RW – Kamil Jozwiak, CAM- Ravel Morrison, LW – Louie Sibley, ST – Sam Baldock
It is a fair claim to make that both teams have a strong defensive line, turning this game into a tactical battle between managers Bowyer and Rooney. With both teams doing well in defence, the game is not likely to get many goals if any. The passing statistics show that possession will be dominated by Derby County as they will rack up more passes, but Birmingham City still might be able to create more chances.
Our prediction is a goalless draw, as any of the two teams if able to get a goal will most likely clinch victory.