Free tips Championship: Aston Villa v Birmingham City Preview & Betting Tips (12pm, Sunday)
Championship promotion contenders Aston Villa will hope to continue their push towards the automatic promotion places as they host an in-form Birmingham City in the Birmingham derby in the Championship on Sunday.
We take you through our Aston Villa v Birmingham City match preview and betting tips for the Sunday lunchtime fixture at Villa Park…
Aston Villa v Birmingham City Match Prediction
Draw 14/5 – SportingBet
Aston Villa v Birmingham City Best Bet
Under 1.5 goals 2/1 – William Hill, MarathonBet
Aston Villa v Birmingham City Past Meetings
This will be the 104th competitive fixture between the two clubs, with Villa ahead on the head-to-head record with 41 wins compared to City’ 33.
However, there has been little to separate the two in the fixture’s recent history, with four draws from the last seven, alongside two (one-goal) Villa wins and one (one-goal) Birmingham victory.
The fixture earlier this season at the St. Andrew’s Stadium finished goalless.
Villa won this fixture 1-0 last April thanks to Gabriel Agbonlahor’s second half goal.
Aston Villa v Birmingham City Stats
Villa sit third in the standings but have the division’s second best home record, with nine wins and just one defeat from their 15 outings at Villa Park in the league.
By contrast, Birmingham have the league’s third worst away record – with nine defeats and just 10 points from 15 matches on the road.
Villa have won their last six league outings in a run which has also seen Steve Bruce’s men keep four clean sheets.
Birmingham are also in their best form of the season, with five wins and a single defeat from their last eight in all competitions.
They have secured back-to-back 3-1 league victories over Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday to steer themselves out of immediate relegation danger.
Aston Villa v Birmingham City Team News
Villa are expected to continue to deploy their 4-1-4-1 formation with Scott Hogan leading the line while Manchester United loanee Axel Tuanzebe and midfielder Mile Jedinak push for starts.
Birmingham will continue with their 4-2-3-1 line-up which is headed by Sam Gallagher, while the experienced Craig Gardner and Jason Lowe will be among those aiming for a place in the side.
Reason for Aston Villa v Birmingham City Bets
Both these teams are in their best spell of form this season so it seems likely that they will cancel each other out, as they so often do, when they face each other on Sunday.
Villa lead their city rivals by 16 league places and a whopping 26 points, while they also have home advantage – but City are in excellent form and look to have found the momentum capable of maintaining their status in the division next season.
However, there remains a strong possibility that these two may not be staging another league derby for at least 18 months, due to Villa’s likelihood of promotion and City’s attempts to stay in the league.
This game is likely to be low-scoring with few goals at either end – if you discount Birmingham’s 3-0 loss to Derby, they have only conceded three times in their last five league outings.
Villa’s defensive record is even stronger, having conceded only three in their last six – a run which has included four clean sheets.