Birmingham City have instructed the majority of their big-name players to find a new club amid the financial crisis that is currently crippling the west Midlands outfit and, with the team struggling in the lower reaches of the Championship, it’s surprising to see their price for relegation as high as 6/1.
Lee Clark’s men sit just two places above the drop-zone, with just a five-point cushion separating them and Peterborough in 22nd. Their 2-2 draw with Brighton was the sixth attempt in all competitions in which they’ve failed to record a victory and 15 games have come and past since their last clean sheet.
So, with the Blues in such lousy form and preparing to bid farewell to the likes of Marlon King, Nathan Redmond and Jack Butland, backing them at such long-odds could well see punters revel in Birmingham’s misfortune come May.
It’s difficult to see how things are going to improve at St Andrews if they lose their best attacking and defensive assets, especially when you consider that they haven’t exactly being doing well when they’ve had these talented players to pick from.
Another big factor that doesn’t bode well for Birmingham is the unkind end-of-season fixture list that they have been handed.
They have to travel to promotion hopefuls Hull, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough in the space of a month, as well as making a trip across the Midlands to face Leicester, and that’s not to mention crunch basement battles with Peterborough, Ipswich and Bristol City.
The Robins have appointed Sean O’Driscoll to man the rudder in the closing stages of the campaign so can reasonably expect on-pitch improvement, while Barnsley won their first game under Gary Flitcroft’s guidance.
Then there’s Sheffield Wednesday who are one of the form sides in the division at the moment and Darren Ferguson’s Posh have proved they are more than capable of stringing a few wins together.
Of the teams immediately above these four, it’s Huddersfield and Birmingham who look the most susceptible to getting sucked into the mire but, with the Terriers in a position where they can keep their squad together, they’re obviously better equipped to stave off the heat being turned up from the doldrums and this spells doom for Brum.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date