Wolves vs Birmingham: Hosts to overcome weary Midlands rivals
Birmingham travel to Molineux to take part in their 33rd game of the season, an incredible tally considering we are still only in January.
Chris Hughton has managed his resources well thus far, guiding his side to the fringe of the play-offs after going close to Europa League advancement from the group stage.
But it could be a bridge too far for them to claim a Premier League scalp at Wolves.
The sides played out a dull 0-0 draw at St. Andrews in the initial fixture, though it was Mick McCarthy’s men who looked the more likely, and were it not for the heroics of City keeper Colin Doyle, they would have progressed there and then.
Wolves are 1/1 to win in 90 minutes in the replay and that should interest punters greatly.
The regard with which McCarthy holds the competition became unquestionable when he introduced top scorer Steven Fletcher to try to snatch the away tie, and he could opt to start with the in-form Scotsman, who is 7/2 favourite to score first or last in the game.
Hughton’s Blues are in good form themselves though, recording a superb 6-0 win away to Millwall on Saturday to make it 11 points from a possible 15 in their last five Championship matches.
Each of the past two meetings between the sides have resulted in draws, and that outcome is priced at 12/5 here, with 11/4 about an away win.
Marlon King hit a brace in Birmingham’s weekend romp at The Den, and is a lengthy 7/1 to notch first, though Hughton could rotate his side with the amount of fixtures played in mind.
That said, with Wolves’ superior resources, and buoyed by a terrific draw away to title-chasing Tottenham in their last outing, a narrow home seems most likely, with 8/1 odds on a 2-1 Wolves victory looking very appealing.