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Free betting tips: Sky Bet Championship - West Brom v Birmingham

Our best bets for West Brom v Birmingham
Our best bets for West Brom v Birmingham

We're treated to a local derby on Friday night as West Brom take on Birmingham. Tom Carnduff takes a look at the betting.


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2pts Jay Rodriguez to have 2+ shots on target at 13/8

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West Brom v Birmingham (Hawthorns, 2000 GMT, Sky Sports Football)

It's been anything but a quiet international break for Birmingham City, with the club going from play-off outsiders to being thrown into the midst of a relegation battle.

The Blues were deducted nine points for a breach of the EFL's Profitability and Sustainability rules, taking them from 13th place in the Sky Bet Championship to 18th, five points above the drop zone.

Garry Monk's men have enough about them to stay up though. Even with an expected defeat on Friday night, Rotherham's trip to Derby should also see no return and they will still hold a comfortable buffer zone with seven games remaining.

For West Brom, victory moves them to within three points of third-placed Leeds. However, Leeds and Sheffield United have very winnable home ties on Saturday so should regain their six and seven-point leads over the Baggies by 5pm.

Birmingham boss Garry Monk
Garry Monk's Birmingham are now in a relegation battle

Despite that, it's another victory closer to securing their spot in the play-off spot. 76 points is usually enough to wrap up a top-six place and a win here would move them to within six points of that mark.

One player who is set to catch the eye once again is Jay Rodriguez. The striker is currently in a battle with teammate Dwight Gayle for the top scorer accolade, both at the club and in the league.

Rodriguez currently has two more goals than Gayle and will look to add to his tally on Friday. The one thing that has helped Rodriguez is the fact that he is in the top-13 for shots taken in the Championship this season with a huge total of 90.

That means that there is value in the stats market - particularly on Rodriguez to have shots on target. Sky Bet have the striker at 13/8 to have two or more in this game, and given home advantage, it seems a really attractive price.

Jay Rodriguez: The West Brom forward celebrates his goal against Ipswich
Jay Rodriguez: The West Brom forward celebrates his goal against Ipswich

He's had two or more shots in each of his last five games, while their home game with Nottingham Forest - where he scored one and assisted another - saw a total of four.

As did their game against Swansea - the last time they played at home. He scored in that game and is capable of doing the same in a local derby next.

In terms of the result itself, West Brom look a good price at 5/6 to secure all three points on offer. They've won both games under caretaker manager James Shan - who is expected to stay until the end of the season - and convincing beat Swansea in their last home match.

For Birmingham, it remains to be seen how they react to the new situation they find themselves in but the fact remains that they have lost their last four games.

Millwall came to St. Andrews and won, despite a poor away record, and they've lost on trips to Preston and Hull. Against a West Brom team who are battling at the other end of the table, Monk's men will likely end up with their fifth defeat in a row.

Score prediction: West Brom 2-0 Birmingham (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)

Best bet: Jay Rodriguez to have 2+ shots on target at 13/8

Matt Phillips scores against Birmingham
Matt Phillips scores against Birmingham

Opta facts

  • West Brom are unbeaten in their last four league games against Birmingham (W2 D2), their longest such run against them since November 1997 (five games).
  • Birmingham are looking for their first away league win at the Hawthorns since August 2005 (2-3), having failed to win on their two trips since (D1 L1).
  • West Bromwich Albion have already won more league matches this season (19) than they managed in their last two Premier League seasons in 2016-17 and 2017-18 combined (18).
  • Birmingham have lost their last four league matches – the worst run of Garry Monk’s managerial career with a single club.
  • West Bromwich Albion’s last eight Championship goals have been scored by different players (Montero, Murphy, Livermore, Johansen, Brunt, Holgate, Rodriguez and Edwards).
  • Since scoring against Bristol City in February, Birmingham have had 59 shots in the Championship without finding the net.

Odds correct at 1145 GMT (28/03/19)

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