Free tips Championship: Birmingham v Brighton prediction (5.30pm, Saturday)
BIRMINGHAM CITY VS BRIGHTON PREDICTIONS, BETTING TIPS AND MATCH PREVIEWS
Saturday 17th December 17:30, St. Andrew’s. Live on Sky Sports 1
BIRMINGHAM CITY VS BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION PREDICTIONS
MATCH RESULT & TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER PREDICTION:
Brighton & Hove Albion to win and Under 2.5 Goals at 3/1 with Betway
HALF-TIME RESULT PREDICTION:
Draw at 21/20 with bet365
REASON FOR BIRMINGHAM CITY VS BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION BETTING TIPS
Despite being 7th in the Championship at the time and generally going along very nicely, Birmingham City decided to dispense with the services of Gary Rowett as manager this week after Tuesday’s 2-1 win at home to Ipswich Town.
If dismissing one of the most highly-regarded young English managers in the game wasn’t bad enough (not to mention his entire coaching staff and chief scout), the decision to replace him with Gianfranco Zola was equally unfathomable. The Italian was a fine player, but his managerial record has been decidedly mixed down the years.
The new manager factor can sometimes have a very brief positive effect and Brighton will be wary of that. That said, the Seagulls have not lost a Championship match since 10 September (15 games) and possess both the second best away record in the division and the best goals against tally. That defensive record took a minor dent on Tuesday, but they still came away from Blackburn Rovers with a 3-2 victory.
Having only agonizingly missed out on automatic promotion last season, Brighton, under former Birmingham boss Chris Hughton, already appear well on course to a top two finish this term and look to be in a two-horse race for the Championship title with Newcastle United.
Glenn Murray has bagged 13 goals for the Seagulls this season, a total bettered only by Newcastle’s Dwight Gayle. The 15/8 available with 888sport on Murray as an anytime goalscorer is worth a look, although it’s worth noting that he started on the bench before coming on to score at Ewood Park in the week. As for a correct score, a 2-0 win for Brighton looks enticing at 9/1 with BetVictor.
It’s difficult to believe that the Birmingham squad is entirely happy following the week’s events, so now is probably not the best time for them to be playing a Brighton side that has lost just two league games all season and, including last season’s play-offs, just six Championship matches in 2016. The Seagulls look capable of coming away with a low-scoring victory.
Brighton have been all-square at half-time in 60% of their away games this season and they look a decent bet to be level at half-time at St. Andrew’s too.
BIRMINGHAM CITY VS BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION STATS
Birmingham have averaged 1.55 goals per game at St. Andrew’s this season, whilst conceding an average of 1.18. Brighton have averaged 1.10 goals and have been conceding at a rate of just 0.70 goals per game on their travels.
Both Teams To Score (BTTS) has occurred in 55% of Birmingham’s home matches this season, but in only 27% of Brighton’s away games.
BIRMINGHAM CITY TEAM NEWS
Birmingham’s six-goal top scorer Clayton Donaldson is out after aggravating an Achilles injury on Tuesday. Zola could switch formations to either a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-1-1 with two natural wingers.
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION TEAM NEWS
Winger Jamie Murphy is available again after missing the win at Blackburn with a groin problem. Midfielder Beram Kayal is training again after an ankle injury but centre-back Uwe Hunemeier (hand) is a doubt. Winger Kazenga LuaLua begins a four-game suspension.