This Sunday sees Aston Villa and Birmingham City renew their storied rivalry in the first Second City derby of the campaign.
The two sides couldn’t be more matched heading into this weekend’s fixture, but both teams level on points and side-by-side in the table.
In fact, Villa trump their rivals by one goal, meaning they sit ahead of the visitors to Villa Park by one place.
Dean Smith and Garry Monk will both be taking charge of their respective teams in their first derby together on Sunday, and it is sure to be a pulsating clash in front of a partisan Villa crowd.
Ahead of the clash, Sky Sports enlisted the help of David Prutton to give his thoughts on how the game will turn out.
“What a day this will be for Dean Smith, the boyhood fan taking charge of Aston Villa for the first time in a Second City derby,’ the EFL presenter said. “It really is what the game is all about!
“Birmingham will be desperate to head to Villa Park to spoil the party. It has been eight long years since they have beaten their old rivals and 13 since their last win in the league.
“I can’t see them winning on Sunday, but I do think they can get a draw, 2-2.”
David Prutton seems to be predicting quite the classic between the two sides and considering their respective positions in the league; it is hard to disagree on his prediction,
Both sides have scored 20-plus goals and conceded above that mark, too, so there should indeed be goals for each team on Sunday.
Villa have been unbeaten under Smith at home, winning three in a row and that could be the sticking point to Prutton’s forecast.
But on the overall balance, with form going out the window in these types of matches, a draw does look the likeliest of results.