Birmingham vs West Brom – Hosts to avoid cup hangover
Birmingham can be expected to avoid any hangover from their Carling Cup final win over Arsenal by taking a vital three points in their crunch Premier League relegation clash at home to Midlands rivals West Brom.
Alex McLeish has already vowed that Birmingham have put their Wembley celebrations on ice to focus on the fixture, particularly as a defeat to West Brom could see them drop into the bottom three.
Birmingham’s betting odds are 6/5 to beat West Brom and they have lost just three of their last 29 Premier League matches at St Andrew’s.
West Brom have proved difficult to beat of late, but they will need to turn their draws into victories if they want to ease clear of the relegation places.
It is 23/10 in the Premier League betting that West Brom draw at Birmingham, which would represent the fourth top-flight game in succession that the Baggies have shared the points.
West Brom are also 23/10 to beat Birmingham, but to do so manager Roy Hodgson would have to improve on a horrid record of winning just one of his last 28 Premier League away matches.
Carlos Vela has conjured up late equalisers in West Brom’s last two league games against Wolves and Stoke and he may be the best bet to also be the last goalscorer against Birmingham.
Vela is 7/1 in the Premier League odds to strike the final goal and will be pushing for a starting spot following his two impacts from the substitute’s bench.
The chances of a West Brom player scoring the last goal against Birmingham is additionally boosted by the fact that eight of the nine goals West Brom have scored against their rivals in the Premier League have come in the second half of games.
A £25 stake on the scorecast of Nikola Zigic scoring first and Birmingham beating West Brom 2-1 would return £750. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.