Birmingham - Newcastle

Generous price here on a home side. Brum are one of very few sides that still play old fashioned English football with lots of running, punching and crossing from the wing. They’re physically strong and very good in the air. It’s a good thing for this game as they should be able to cope with Carroll in front the goal and with Nolan/Barton in midfield. Brum have lost just one game of their last 23 matches at St Andrew’s in Premier. No injury concerns for McLeish.

I’m not sure what the season expectations of Newcastle’s board are when they sacked Chris Hughton. Spot for European competition? Anyway, Pardew started great with a win over Liverpool in previous round. However, it should be noticed for the record they scored after every of three goal attempts. The Toon is on very good 8th place and I don’t think they’ll climb higher than that. I expect a kind of warm-cold performances from them through the season (with more warm at home) and middle of the table at the end.

I’m giving a significant advantage to the home side, but considering Birmingham as draw specialists (9 of 17 games this season!) and the fact their last five games at St Andrew’s vs. Toon ended on the same way, I can’t exclude a possibility of another draw (how could I?). So, dnb option for me. Close game and Brum by one.

Bet: Birmingham 0.0
Odd: 1.85 188 bet
Stake: 8/10

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