With a pause in the action due to the international break, Championship managers will be assessing their side’s performance so far this season and formulating a plan for the remainder of the campaign.
It has been a mixed start for two of the Midlands powerhouse sides in Aston Villa and Birmingham with both sides well off the pace after an inconsistent start to the season.
But who will finish the higher Birmingham or Aston Villa?
Before the appointment of Dean Smith yesterday I would have said Birmingham would finish higher but Smith’s appointment will spur Villa on this season.
I can see Smith’s side pushing for a top-six position this season, whilst Birmingham are likely to finish around mid-table which is a realistic aim for Monk’s side.
They’ve got more resources and will strengthen in January, whereas Birmingham may yet get a points deduction.
That isn’t to say the Blues will struggle though, they’re going to be a force if they keep Monk and get through this season.
I believe Aston Villa will.
Despite their indifferent start, under the new management, they have the necessary resources to push on now.
Birmingham are the draw specialists and I can’t see them putting a consistent run of form together to leapfrog their rivals.
I don’t think Birmingham are as bad as the table is showing right now and if they click they can climb the table.
Overall Villa have the better star players, though, and so they should be finishing higher really.
With Dean Smith now at the helm I fancy them to bounce back and comfortably make the top 6, especially with that squad.
Birmingham will be comfortably mid-table.
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