Birmingham vs Rochdale – Unbeaten Blues to triumph

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Since Carson Yeung has taken control of Birmingham, the midlands club have yet to lose at St Andrews and Rochdale are unlikely to pose any threat to that impressive record.

Rochdale last bettered the second round of the Carling Cup when they reached the 1961/62 final, but the inclusion of new signing Josh Thompson from Celtic will boost the League One hopes of getting a result from St Andrew’s.

The 19-year-old has moved on a season-long loan after falling out of favour with Neil Lennon and has the green light to start this game despite not being cleared for last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Colchester.

Thompson will have the unenviable task of marking Birmingham’s 6ft 7in summer signing Nikola Zigic.

The striker has already impressed manager Alex McCleish during his 30-minute cameo on the opening day of the season against Sunderland and is 5/1 to score the first goal.

McCleish believes his £6m signing from Valencia needs time to settle in and adapt to the English game, but a home tie against lower league opposition could provide Zigic with the perfect opportunity to open his Birmingham account.

Rochdale’s manager Keith Hill knows his team are relegation candidates and their odds of 80/1 for the League One title may be considered by some to be a little short.

Birmingham’s reserves plus a few first team stars will easily have the class to beat Rochdale and are 4/9 to complete the victory and you can get 6/4 that there will be four or more goals during the 90 minutes.

Should be relatively simple for the Premier League side to justify their 4/9 favouritism. See the full Birmingham vs Rochdale Carling Cup betting market here.

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