These two were relegated from the Premier League in May and now do battle as promotion candidates in the Championship. Both are nicely poised on the edge of the play-offs but which side will take all three points on Saturday?
Blackpool are a point ahead of their visitors (who have played two games less, admittedly) and either side could move into the play-off places with a win here. Holloway’s side are strong at home with five wins from eight games and are favourites to win this one at 11/8 (Stan James – £150 free bets).
However, despite starting beneath the home side, it could be argued that Birmingham have made the better start to the season. They are 11/5 (bet365 – £200 free betting) to take the points and given they have two games in hand and have had some difficult fixtures that price could be worth taking. The Blues have played two of the top four away from home and also had tricky trips to Derby and Reading and yet should they win their two extra games they could move as high as third.
Of course, points on the board are what counts and although the difficulty of the opposition can be held in mitigation, the fact remains, Birmingham’s away record is poor. They have lost four out of seven and won just once away from St Andrews, and Blackpool is another tough trip to make.
Both sides have good quality strikers and in Kevin Phillips Holloway’s men have one of the most experienced pros in the Championship. With seven league goals already he can be backed to score first at 11/2. The visitors will look to their top scorer, Chris Wood, who could be a good bet to upset the home faithful.
The close league positions of these sides are a good indication that we should see an even game and there will certainly be worse bets on Saturday than backing the draw in this one at 5/2 (Ladbrokes).