After making way for international football, the Sky Bet Championship returns with a classic Midlands derby as Birmingham City welcome West Bromwich Albion to St Andrews.
Both teams have enjoyed contrasting starts with the Brummies still without a win whilst the Baggies sit ninth after overcoming a slow start.
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Birmingham City are still without Kyle Vassell and David Davis, who are missing with respective thigh and ankle injuries.
Other than those two absentees, Garry Monk has a fully fit squad available.
West Brom have a full squad available despite Oliver Burke pulling out of Scotland’s Under-21 duty with a knee issue.
Birmingham City are currently two spots above the drop zone but have shown signs of progress recently, having drawn three of their last four league matches.
West Brom meanwhile are the league’s top scorers with 15 goals, although seven of those have come from the combo of Jay Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle.
Results wise, they have won three of their last four with that defeat coming away at Middlesbrough.
They have also kept just one clean sheet across all competitions, coming in a first round Carabao Cup win over Luton Town.
- Birmingham have lost their last three meetings with West Brom since they played out a 1-1 draw in March 2007 in this division.
- West Brom have won just once in last five league trips to St Andrews (W1, D1, L3).
- Since the Premier League era began, Birmingham have met the Baggies 18 times in this division. Both sides have won seven times whilst there has been four draws.
- This has been Birmingham’s worst start to a season this decade and lowest points tally after seven games since 2013-14 when they had four points at this stage (W1, D1, L5). In that season, they were sat one position lower than they are sitting now.
Birmingham are currently inconsistent in front of goal, which is something that the likes of Gayle and Rodriguez will relish, despite the Brummies’ last two home games ending 0-0.
Realistically, I can see a comfortable away win unless Birmingham’s defence is rock solid like it’s usually is so far this season.
Prediction: Birmingham City 0-3 West Bromwich Albion
Result: Birmingham City 1-1 West Bromwich Albion