Derbyshire returns to Premier League with Birmingham

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Matt Derbyshire has returned to the Premier League following an 18-month stint in Greece by agreeing a loan deal with Birmingham.

The 24-year-old signed with Olympiacos at the start of last season from Blackburn after a successful loan spell but struggled to hold down a first-team place during the recent campaign.

This has led to a deal being struck with Birmingham, with Alex McLeish having the option of making the transfer permanent at the end of the season.

Derbyshire leaves Greece with a decent scoring record having netted 11 goals in 24 games, including in numerous appearances as a substitute.

And he could make his debut at St Andrews against his former club, with Birmingham 6/5 to collect the three points.

McLeish admitted after the 2-2 draw away at Sunderland on the opening day of the Premier League season that his team was short of attacking options and has been linked with a move for AZ Alkmaar star Moussa Dembele.

However, with this transfer seeming unlikely to materialise, McLeish has turned to Derbyshire to provide competition for the likes of Cameron Jerome, Garry O’Connor and summer signing Nikola Zigic.

Birmingham exceeded expectations to finish in ninth spot last season, but this was primarily due to a solid defence rather than their prowess in front of goal.

Jerome was their top league scorer with ten goals and as a team they only averaged a goal a game across their 38 fixtures.

This was fewer than Burnley who were relegated to the Championship and a leakier backline this campaign could leave them nearer the bottom of the table come May.

Birmingham are 11/2 to be relegated to the Championship.

Jerome is 66/1 to finish the season as the Premier League’s top goalscorer, see the whole market.

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