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Midlands Blues: Villa and Birmingham set for the drop

| 28.04.2014

Football fans in Birmingham are set for a nervous close to the season with both Aston Villa and Birmingham City dicing with relegation.

The Villans remain an outside bet at 9/1 to fall through the relegation trap door and while their fate is firmly in their own hands a tricky schedule means they could be worth backing to slip into the Championship.

Next up for Paul Lambert’s side, who were hammered 4-1 by Swansea at the weekend, is a crucial tie with Hull at Villa Park.

Villa need two points from their last three games to be assured of safety but with the last two being away to Manchester City and Spurs respectively the Tigers remain their best hope of survival.

However, with Villa claiming just one of the last 18 available points and Steve Bruce’s men taking seven of the last 12 the FA Cup finalists will be confident of upsetting the home fans.

Villa failed to score in the earlier fixture and with Hull also still not mathematically safe the visitors will be going all out for the win.

Lose here and it could be doom for Villa fans as their side have won just once in eight games as City’s guests and haven’t beaten Spurs since 2008.

So, as Villa look set to drop into the second tier, the club’s fans could still retain bragging rights over their neighbours with Birmingham sat in the Championship drop zone with just two games to go.

Next up for Steve Clark’s men is a home tie with Wigan and with the Latics knowing a win will guarantees them a play-off spot the Blues should be left feeling just that – blue – come the final whistle.

A last day away trip to a Bolton side who won 2-1 against Brum earlier this season will not fill City fans with confidence either.

The Trotters have won six of the last nine meetings with Birmingham and with the Blues losing four of their last six away games going into this tie the omens do not look good.

Birmingham’s chances of survival look slim, with relegation priced at 13/8, but the Midlands double also looks a tempting shout with both clubs going down priced at better than 25/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.