The 127th Second City Derby: Birmingham City v Aston Villa Preview
This Sunday lunchtime sees the second city derby take place between Birmingham City and Aston Villa, arguably one of the biggest derbies in England. Their encounter earlier this season at Villa park was a 4-2 victory for Aston Villa. The two midlands clubs are both in the mix for a play off spot and Sundays game could be a pivotal match in both clubs season.
Birmingham City will be looking to end a scandalous run against Aston Villa not recording a league win against the villains since 2005. Last time out Gary Monks side lost 2-0 to tenth placed Hull despite having more attempts on goal. Birmingham come into the game winning 3 of their last 6 and no real injury concerns. Garry Monk has recognised what this game means for the supporters. The blues boss has spoken to the media and has said “We’re all looking forward to it”. Monk has also labelled Villa’s attack as the best in the league and noted the threat of Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham. City tend to play with a 4-4-2 formation and striker Che Adams is the one to watch for the blues. His record this season has seen him contribute with 21 goals in 35 matches this term. Gary Gardner is likewise a player to watch, as the central midfielder has consistently performed well for the Blues.
The pressure is on Birmingham to produce a result after poor form in recent years against Villa. However , the atmosphere at St Andrew’s may give Birmingham an advantage. It would be a dream result for Birmingham to beat Villa on Sunday as the game has the potential to energise the club and it’s fans until the end of the season. The Blues boss has said he wants to repay the fans for their outstanding support.
Aston Villa will be looking to extent their great record against bitter rivals Birmingham City. Villa appointed Dean Smith in October 2018 , they have never really flourished under Smith. Furthermore Villa have had glimpses of greatness with excellent wins away at Derby and Middlesbrough. The Villans have been rather inconsistent as of late , although they had a convincing 4-0 win against Derby last week. Tammy Abraham will be fit for the clash , the Chelsea loanee has netted 21 times this season and has the third lowest minutes per goal, showing he’s been effective in front of goal. Conor Hourihane is another player to watch, the Irishman has scored 6 times and picked up an additional 9 assists this campaign. Villa have used the 4-1-4-1 formation frequently this season.
Aston Villa could be facing a defensive crisis for the Second city derby this Sunday. Tommy Elphick , James Chester and Axel Tuanzebe are all ruled out as well as Alan Hutton. Villa boss has said this week “He’ll be out for a number of weeks” regarding the Alan Hutton injury.
The result that I predict will be a 2-1 Win for Aston Villa with goals from Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham. Che Adams could possibly grab a goal for the Blues as he’s been in tremendous form as of late.
Can Villa walk out of St Andrew’s with all 3 points or can Birmingham flip the script in the Second City Derby?
Whats your predictions for the game?