From the moment their relegation was confirmed last season Birmingham have been classed as clear favorites to win this league and on current showing, that’s the way it will turn out. Sheffield Wednesday on the other hand are renowned as strugglers although after a decent start to the season, find themselves in mid table within a point of the play offs.
Life in the Championship hasn’t been as simple as some predicted for Birmingham, with The Blues collecting points through hard work and narrow wins. They’ve never won a game by more than two goals and considering all of the attacking talent in that squad, that seems a staggering statistic. Still, they sit at the top of the pile two points from second place Wolves and that’s something that Alex McLeish will be exceptionally proud of. After draws against Burnley and Derby through the last few weeks the St Andrews faithful will have been encouraged by the deserved 1-0 over recently rejuvenated Crystal Palace and McLeish will be hoping to build on that result on Saturday.
Despite their impressive start to the season, it’s not all going well for Sheffield Wednesday. Owls fans may have been buoyed by their Steel City win on Sunday, but two days later they were beaten by South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley and that result again showed their frailties away from home. In the fixture against Barnsley they were second best throughout and on another day, could have been on the end of a real thrashing. The worry for Brian Laws shouldn’t be that individual result, but the fact that his side has only collected four points on the road this season. Not only that, they’ve conceded a frightening number of goals with Reading bagging six against them, while Plymouth and Wolves both put four past them.
In terms of team news, Alex McLeish looks set to be without Quincy Owusu-Abeyie and David Murphy who are doubtful with thigh and knee injuries respectively. However, James McFadden could be involved, while Cameron Jerome has shaken off a hamstring tear and could start. As for the visitors, Brian Laws has a few problems with Deon Burton, Richard Wood and Marcus Tudgay all doubtful. Following the red card he received against Barnsley, full back Tony McMahon will start a suspension although winger Jermaine Johnson has completed his ban and comes back into the reckoning.
As for a prediction, it just has to be a home win. Birmingham have been steady all season and while the goals haven’t been in full flow, they still sit top of the league. Sheffield Wednesday on the other hand have been very poor away from home and with their defence looking shaky to say the least, we can only go for a Blues victory. 2-1 Birmingham.