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Birmingham poised to inflict derby-day despair on Wolves

30 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Birmingham poised to inflict derby-day despair on Wolves

Local derbies are, of course, unpredictable - but form and defensive solidarity are the two major factors separating these West Midlands rivals

Ah, derby day.

It is not the most high-profile local rivalry, but that won’t matter one bit when Birmingham host Wolves at Saturday lunchtime.

Feelings among supporters will inevitably be fraught – the corresponding fixture last season was marred by crowd trouble that led to several arrests.

In these feisty atmospheres, there is always the possibility that the excitement of the crowd disseminates to the players on the pitch.

The winning team could well be the one which is able to keep the coolest collective head.

The clubs are nine points and eight places apart in the Championship table.

The difference between the two hasn’t been scoring goals: Birmingham have 19, while Wolves have 18.

It is their respective defences that have led to the disparity in the table.

Birmingham have racked up six clean sheets this season, twice the amount of their neighbours.

Three of those came in their recent run of four straight victories – a sequence that was ended by last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to high flying Hull.

The Blues are certainly the form team of the two. They’re 9/4 to keep another clean sheet and 100/30 to win to nil.

The Wolves defence, meanwhile, has been suffering of late.

The club’s last three results were a 4-2 loss at Derby, a 2-0 defeat at home to Brentford and 3-1 loss to Middlesbrough.

And they haven’t been helped by an unfortunate series of injuries. Kortney Hause is the latest player to head to the medical room, having picked up a hamstring injury against Boro.

The Wanderers are also sweating over the fitness of Dominic Iorfa. Even if he makes a return against the Blues, it leaves them with only four fit senior defenders in their squad.

All of this points to a happy afternoon for Birmingham City’s strike force and they can be backed to breach the Wolves defence at least once at 30/100.

But while Wolves’ back line is vulnerable, they will cause trouble at the other end of the pitch.

Benik Afobe is one of the Championship’s top strikers and has got six in the league so far.

He has previous against Birmingham, scoring past them last season, and is 9/2 to get the first goal on Saturday.

Birmingham won this fixture at St Andrews 2-1 in the 2014/15 campaign and a repeat of that score at 17/2 is tempting.

And while Wolves are on a losing run, derby matches are unpredictable.

It is about harnessing the enthusiasm of the crowd and translating that to a performance on the pitch.

All the logic points to a Birmingham victory.

But then when has football ever been logical?

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