Middlesbrough tightened up the wheels on their promotion push with a 3-0 win over Huddersfield in midweek after a consecutive wobbles against Cardiff and Bristol City.
Tony Mowbray’s men head to St Andrews looking to put another win on the board, though underachieving Birmingham will be sure to make things difficult for them, as is indicated in the Blues’ 6/4 favouritism.
Such poor form should see punters lumping on the Boro at 17/10, who are also boosted by a 100 per cent, two from two record when playing in televised Friday night games this term.
However, one should tread with caution around this price – the visitors have a poor recent record in the blue half of the second city and former Middlesbrough hitman Marlon King is firing on all cylinders for Lee Clark’s side.
The hosts have triumphed in five of the past six renewals and recorded their second successive 3-0 win of this spell in this fixture last term, which was their third overall. A lofty 20/1 says they can rack up a fourth win by this scoreline here.
Leroy Lita’s recent injury will prevent two former Boro men leading the Birmingham line against them, but with King on fire they’re not likely to need him. The striker has bagged seven goals in his last eight appearances and, as well as being on the scoresheet when his side cruised past the Teessiders last time around, he has notched against two of his former clubs already this term.
He’s 5/1 to break the deadlock here which is surely worth a few quid.
A stat to encourage the visitors, as well as detract from this bet, is that Birmingham have given up the first goal in their last four outings. Those looking to back the Boro should be attracted by the 1/1 on offer for them to open the scoring here, while the 4/6 for both teams to score is a pretty safe bet.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date