After their FA Cup draw with Wolves, Birmingham manager Chris Hughton said a replay was “the worst possible result” for his side and having played a league-high 33 games this season you can see his point.
The Blues faced a unique problem as a Championship side competing in the Europa League, with their Thursday night excursions leaving them playing catch-up in the league.
Wednesday’s clash with Ipswich will be the 12th time this season where they’ve played two games in a week and this has clearly impacted on their league position.
While Blues fans will be disappointed to see their side sitting 14th, victory against Ipswich will put them within two points of the playoffs, still with a game in hand.
Hughton’s side have managed to stay in contact through their exceptional form at St Andrews, with Manchester City’s FA Cup loss against Manchester United leaving Birmingham alongside Liverpool and Sheffield Wednesday as the only unbeaten home sides in the country.
A major reason Birmingham aren’t already in a playoff spot is their failure to turn leads into wins. They have let 14 points slip from winning positions this season, making lead-draw in the run of play market worth considering at 4/1.
Given that form, the home team start as 53/100 favourites in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, with a surprise Ipswich away win priced at 53/20 and the draw at 11/2.
While Blues’ great run will surely come to an end eventually, it shouldn’t be against an Ipswich side who’ve lost nine of their last 12 matches.
However, a major reason Birmingham aren’t already in a playoff spot is their failure to turn leads into wins. They have let 14 points slip from winning positions this season, making lead-draw in the run of play market worth considering at 4/1.
Birmingham have often struggled in the second half of games – conceding nearly twice as many goals after half-time as before it – and so punters looking for longer odds should bet on Blues to fail to convert a half-time lead into a win at 15/1.
New customers using the free £25 bet they receive when joining bwin.com would win £400 if Birmingham/Draw was the result at half-time/full-time.
Yet given that Paul Jewell’s side concede 2.25 goals per game on average, Birmingham should be able to secure a win even if they do let a lead slip and a Blues win in a game featuring over 2.5 goals represents good value at 7/5 with bwin.
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