Birmingham are narrow favourites heading into Friday night’s home fixture against Cardiff City.
Three points separate the two sides in what promises to be a close encounter. A Bluebirds win would see Cardiff leapfrog Ipswich and Burnley, giving Cardiff fifth place heading into the weekend.
- Dont’ forget punters and fans can watch the game online tonight with Bet365, who are live streaming the game from St Andrews this evening.
Birmingham will be hoping that the St Andrews faithful will be able to inspire them to victory and staying in touching distance of a playoff position.Cardiff have a clean bill of health heading into Friday’s game. No players are suspended, giving manager Russell Slade the luxury of being able to select his first choice XI.
Tony Watt and Kenwyne Jones are likely to head a 4-4-2 featuring plenty of pedigree including ex-Manchester United fullback Fabio da Silva. Stalwart center back Sean Morrison, arguably Cardiff’s most important player this season, looks set to marshall the back four.
Kenwyne Jones will be looking to build upon his tally of five goals against a Birmingham side that have looked short on inspiration in recent weeks.
Birmingham go into Friday night’s home fixture missing forward Clayton Donaldson and defender Paul Robinson.
Donaldson has been one of the most consistent attacking threats for the Blues and the side will be eager to seek alternative goalscoring threats.
The state of affairs at Birmingham have not been helped by recent speculation surrounding the future of manager Gary Rowett. Rowett has been linked in the press with the managerial positions at both QPR and Fulham and this has forced the Birmingham City board into issuing a statement with the aim of reassuring fans and players.
Friday’s game can be seen as pivotal for the Blues as a home win would send a strong signal that Birmingham are in the hunt for the playoffs.
A loss is likely to further damage morale and cause greater unrest in the squad.
Cardiff are coming off the back of a hard-fought, exciting 3-2 home win against Brentford and will look to carry this momentum into Friday’s match.
The Bluebirds have been unimpressive away from home this season, notching up only two away wins from ten matches.
Birmingham managed only a 1-1 away draw at Preston earlier in the week and will be looking to improve their depressing home record of only 3 wins all season.
It’s the last fixture for both teams before Christmas and the congested Boxing Day to New Year’s period, so expect both sides to look to make a statement ahead of 2016.