Kick-off: 2000, 16/12/2022
Stadium: St Andrew’s
TV: Sky Sports
Birmingham can leapfrog Reading with a victory in Friday night’s televised Championship match and are fancied to seize the opportunity.
Blues are three points behind their visitors with a better goal difference and will be looking to climb into the top half of the table during the second half of the season.
The Royals are poor travellers so a home win at 11/10 is our opening Birmingham vs Reading prediction.
Birmingham were in decent form prior to the World Cup break with just one defeat in five matches and returned to action with a goalless draw at Blackpool.
They had the better of the chances, seeing two goals ruled out for offside and Tahith Chong hit the woodwork towards the end of the first half.
Boss John Eustace was left frustrated after Maxime Colin’s effort on the stroke of half-time was disallowed due to attackers standing in the eye-line of home keeper Chris Maxwell.
He was pleased with the performance, though, saying: “Overall, after three or four weeks off, to come back and have a good solid performance like that was very pleasing.
“I thought we deserved to win the game. I thought we were excellent. With and without the ball we looked good.”
Birmingham are often fast starters and they have the best record in the division in the first 15 minutes, having scored seven goals without reply in that time, while Reading are 7-3 down.
Looking at the 5/1.
Reading went into the World Cup recess in poor form, with only two wins from 10 games.
They had won their last outing at least, 2-1 at Hull in mid-November thanks to a last-gasp Ryan Longman own goal, and made it back-to-back wins with a 1-0 victory at home to Coventry on Saturday.
The Royals still look worth opposing on their travels given they have lost seven of their 11 matches on the road.
Paul Ince’s men sit eighth in the table but only three teams have conceded more goals and there have been goals at both ends in the last six meetings between these two teams.
A home win or draw and both teams to score is added to our Birmingham vs Reading betting tips at 33/4.
Blackpool 0-0 BIRMINGHAM
READING 1-0 Coventry – Amadou Mbengue
Head-to-head: Reading 2-1 Birmingham, Birmingham 1-2 Reading, Birmingham 2-1 Reading, Reading 1-2 Birmingham, Birmingham 1-3 Reading, Reading 2-3 Birmingham
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