One of the Championship’s headline midweek games sees Fulham travel up to the Midlands to take on Birmingham City on Wednesday night having lost their unbeaten run.
The Cottagers topped the table going into the international break, but the dreaded ‘Manager of the Month curse’ seemingly struck Marco Silva as his side were defeated 1-0 by lowly Blackpool.
It was an unexpected result for Fulham up in Lancashire, and they lacked a cutting edge without talented youngster Fabio Carvalho.
Whilst their weekend was spoiled, Birmingham fans were probably on cloud nine after their side coasted to a 2-0 success over Derby County on Friday night.
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Goals from Scott Hogan and Jeremie Bela saw Lee Bowyer’s side end the weekend in seventh position in the league, and with the return of Troy Deeney to his boyhood club the mood around St. Andrews is one of jubilation right now.
EFL pundit David Prutton cannot split the two teams though going into Wednesday night’s encounter, with the former Leeds midfielder predicting a share of the spoils.
“Birmingham’s win at Derby on Friday night wasn’t the most convincing, but they were clinical and picked up three points that leave them on the cusp of the top six, which is a great platform for Lee Bowyer to build upon,” Prutton outlined in his Sky Sports column.
“I’ll hold my hands up and say I did not expect Fulham to lose at Blackpool on Saturday.
“They had such an electric start, but just came unstuck at Bloomfield Road. I think they could well stutter in this one, too. 1-1.”
Both of these clubs have differing levels of momentum going into Wednesday night – Birmingham are riding on the crest of a wave whilst Fulham will be feeling the after-effects of a surprise loss.
If Troy Deeney is thrown in for his first Birmingham start then it will blow the roof off St. Andrew’s and the fans will be well and truly behind their team from the get-go.
Fulham meanwhile will be desperate to get Carvalho back after he missed out on the trip to Blackpool – he’s provided that spark in the opening games of the season that has made a difference.
Despite Fulham having a very good team on paper, I can see Birmingham running out narrow winners here.