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Birmingham v Aston Villa Live Stream – All eyes on St Andrews in lunchtime kickoff

We’ve another barnstorming encounter from the Midlands this lunchtime as Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa take on Birmingham City from the Championship.

Its been a difficult first season for life in the Championship for Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa side, which promised so much in the first few months, but seven defeats in eight games at the start of the new year put pay to any thoughts of playoffs and automatic promotion.

Michael Dawson Hull City

Aston Villa v Birmingham Form Guide

Its been a difficult first season for life in the Championship for Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa side, which promised so much in the first few months, but seven defeats in eight games at the start of the new year put pay to any thoughts of playoffs and automatic promotion.

Strangely,  following that dismal run Villa then went on a run of seven wins in eight but it appears too little too late as Bruce’s side now lie in the safety of mid table in thirteenth place, mathematically out of the playoffs and safe from relegation.

There are signs however, that Villa fans can look forward to next season with realistic ambition.

Their opponents today Birmingham also have had a season of highs and lows, with the side sacking manager Gary Rowett (which still has fans and pundits scratching their heads) with the side in superb form and in prime spot for a promotion push.

Gianfranco Zola was brought in but with only two wins in 24 matches his reign was put to an end last week.

The one thing that will give City a glimmer of hope is that the board have sacked manager Gianfranco Zola and made a swift appointment with the experienced Harry Redknapp.

The Englishman might not be to everyone’s taste, and he won’t be coming in with a magic wand to miraculously change all the problems the club have immediately, but it seems that anything would be better than Zola right now, and he’s certainly an experienced manager at this level.

Redknapp has been quoted that 4 points from their remaining 3 games will be enough to ensure that Birmingham survive, and so this will certainly be a game that he will be looking to try and grind at least a point out of.

The Blues lie only two points above Blackburn, who occupy the third relegation spot, so any sort of result at Villa Park would be welcome with only two matches to go in the season.

Birmingham really have been on an appalling run of results for a significant amount of games now, with their last win coming ten games ago.

In that run Birmingham have failed to beat any of the real strugglers of the division, having played Cardiff, Wigan, Rotherham and Burton in that time.

The result of this has not been pretty reading for Birmingham fans, as the club are now very much threatened by relegation and the trapdoor is certainly lurking.

Bruce will be without top striker Jonathan Kodjia, who is banned for this match following his sending off at Fulham last week, while Birmingham themselves will be without front man Clayton Donaldson, who is struggling with a knee injury.

What are the odds on Aston Villa vs Birmingham?

Betting wise, Aston Villa are predictably favourites for the match with home advantage and their recent form, however this the Birmingham derby, and form guide really does out the window.

The game at St Andrews earlier this season ended in a draw and we could well see a similar result today, with both sides missing some firepower up front.

Birmingham would surely be happy with a point, while this would probably suit Villa – this game is all about bragging rights so both sides would be be happy just not to lose.

The draw can be backed at 12/5 but there’s better value in the correct score markets. The 0-0 correct scoreline looks more than worth a punt at 8/1, while the 1-1 can be backed at 6/1.

Both these scorelines offer considerable appeal and that’s where out money is going this lunchtime.

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