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If Birmingham find themselves in this shock position at HT against Villa – This is what Cotterill must do

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The Second City derby between Aston Villa and Birmingham City on Sunday is perhaps the weekend’s standout fixture, with two in-form sides going up against each other at Villa Park.  

Villa and Birmingham are both enjoying a good run, despite finding themselves fighting at opposite ends of the table.

Steve Bruce’s Villa are third and hoping to end a brief wait for a Premier League return, whilst after a sloppy start to the season, Birmingham are hoping to maintain their Sky Bet Championship status.

The Blues under Steve Cotterill have picked up four victories in their last six Championship fixtures, but despite that form, will enter Sunday’s clash as underdogs, with Villa on a run of six consecutive victories.

Here at FLW, we have taken a look at Birmingham, putting Cotterill’s side in a 2-0 half-time lead at Villa Park on Sunday, assessing what we believe the Blues boss needs to do if he finds himself in that situation.

A 4-3-3 formation has served Birmingham well in recent weeks, and we are expecting to see the Blues use that formation at Villa Park this weekend.

However, a 2-0 lead will change the game, and the likelihood is that Villa will be throwing a lot at them during the second-half.

A 5-3-2 formation is something that isn’t unfamiliar to Birmingham, and we believe if Cotterill finds his side in a good position, he will revert to that system, adding Michael Morrison to a central defensive unit of Harlee Dean and Marc Roberts.

Maxime Colin and Carl Jenkinson will flank that trio, whilst David Davis, Cheikh Ndoye and Maikel Kieftenbeld form a midfield three.

In attack, a wide player will be sacrificed for Morrison, with the other moving to a central area to support a lone striker – expected to be Sam Gallagher.

Birmingham fans… Let us know your thoughts!

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