Bet on Birmingham vs West Ham – Irons to make it three in a row

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Avram Grant led relegation-threatened Portsmouth to an FA Cup final and the Israeli can lead relegation-threatened West Ham United to a Carling Cup final.

Birmingham must win on Wednesday night or they will miss out on the trip to Wembley, and historical League Cup ties between the two would suggest West Ham can start booking their tube tickets.

Match Odds

West Ham and Birmingham have met twice before in the League Cup and on both occasions West Ham have progressed courtesy of away wins – the Hammers are 5/2 to win at St Andrews.

But Birmingham, who are a big price at 11/10 to beat West Ham considering they have only lost three games at home since the start of 2010, have only lost one of their last eight League Cup matches at St Andrews.

West Ham need just a draw to progress and are 8/13 to qualify, and considering St Andrews has seen more draws than wins in the past year, the 23/10 for the draw looks the value.

Total Goals

Carlton Cole loves a goal in the Carling Cup – he has four in his last six starts – and the West Ham striker is 8/1 to get the first goal and 5/2 to score any time.

Liam Ridgewell on the other hand loves a goal against West Ham – he has scored in both games with the Hammers this season – and he is 20/1 to score first and 7/1 to score any time.

The game seems to be set-up for a 1-1 draw and that scoreline can be backed at 11/2 and under 2.5 goals is available at 8/11.

But the pick of the market is the 7/1 for Birmingham to come from behind and draw as their attempts to qualify fall just short.

A £25 stake on Cole scoring first and the game ending 1-1 would return £925. New customers can sign up here for a free bet worth £25.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.