Birmingam Match Preview

15 Jan 2015 01:01 pm, by YorkshireSquare

Leeds take on Birmingham City at Elland Road this weekend in the return fixture of Neil Redfearn’s second game in charge during his period as caretaker manager earlier in the season. That time out Leeds rescued a point thanks to Alex Mowatt's second half equaliser fourteen minutes from time.

Birmingham had gone ahead in the first half after some poor marking from Giuseppe Bellusci lead to Wes Thomas opening the scoring, and breaking the goal in the process. Leeds had played some nice football in the first half without really threatening but Redfearn rung the changes on the hour mark bringing on Doukara and Austin. The resultant more direct style of football lead to more chances and ultimately to Leeds getting the draw. Leeds are marginal favorites to beat Birmingham in the football betting odds this time round.

In terms of head to heads the scores are all square, 36 wins a piece and 25 draws between the two sides though in the League Birmingham tip it. The Blues can boast 35 wins to Leeds 30 with 24 League draws. It was of course all level earlier this season but Leeds had the advantage last season chalking up a 3-1 win at St Andrews and an impressive 4-0 win at Elland Road. 2012/2013 was not so good for Leeds though with Birmingham winning both league fixtures 1-0 but Leeds taking the honours in an FA Cup replay 2-1 at St Andrews following a 1-1 draw at Elland Road in the first leg.

Birmingham’s recent form has been decidedly better than Leeds, seven wins and only two losses in the last ten league matches sees them 12th in the table compared to Leeds two wins and five losses in the last ten leaving them hovering above the drop zone in 21st place. The Blues last match saw them beat Wigan 3-1 thanks to a Clayton Donaldon hat-trick. Wigan may be a lowly 23rd in the League but they are a team Leeds failed to beat over the festive period, loosing 2-0. Birmingham’s previous league result was a 3-1 win over fellow mid tabled Midland’s team Nottingham Forest.

Leeds took a point in their last game against Bolton. Rudy Austin put the Whites ahead from the penalty spot early on only for Eidur Gudjohnsen to level things up early in the second half, again from the penalty spot. An entertaining game and a point away from home which most Leeds fans will be pleased with. This was after an encouraging performance against Sunderland in the FA Cup where Leeds lost but created plenty of opportunities.

Redfeard has been tinkering with the squad and formation over the past couple of games opting more for 4-5-1 with reasonably encouraging results so will have some selection dilemmas. Charlie Taylor can probably expect to retain his place given Stephen Warnock’s move to Derby but there will be questions further up the field. Will he start with a loan striker again, will that be Morison or will Antenucci be favoured. Murphy, Austin and Sloth will be keen to keep their starting positions in midfield but Mowatt and Adryan could make returns.

Given Massimo Cellinos appeal against his disqualification from owning Leeds United was heard this week and The Football League have written to Birmingham with questions on Carson Yeung’s involvement with the club it will be a good opportunity for both clubs to worry about events on the pitch, not off it.