Its fair to say that Lee Clark had made an unspectacular start as Birmingham City manager, but I don’t think anyone saw last weekend’s 5-0 home hammering by Barnsley coming.
If the former Huddersfield Town boss were to pick a next game to recover the confidence of his players, then Brighton away would be pretty low on the list.
Gus Poyet’s men have, by contrast, enjoyed an outstanding start to the season and lead the Championship after seven games.
With that form, it’s no surprise Albion are strong favourites in bwin’s 3Way betting market at 17/20, with shell-shocked Birmingham 31/10 and the draw 12/5.
A look at Brighton’s stats makes betting on them seem obvious: the Seagulls have scored first in their last five games (they’re 31/50 to make it six), have fired an average of 2.8 goals per home game (over 2.5 goals in this clash is 3/4) and converted every half-time lead into victory (it’s 33/20 for a repeat on Saturday).
Of those, it’s the latter which takes my fancy and new customers using the free £20 bet they receive when registering with bwin stand to win £103.40 if Poyet’s men are leading at both half-time and full-time.
However, before betting the house on Brighton, it’s worth considering Birmingham’s record on the south coast in recent times.
Last season’s 1-1 draw made it 24 years since the Blues last tasted defeat in Brighton and also ensured that they only had back-to-back defeats on one occasion.
So if they can draw confidence from that and start getting in last season’s habit of late goals (they scored 24 times in the final 15 minutes) then 13/4 for lead-draw and 25/2 for Brighton/draw at half-time/full-time are also worth considering.
But for my money, Albion have improved sufficiently this year to overcome even a resurgent Birmingham and a Brighton win & over 2.5 goals maybe offers the best value at 33/20.
Recommended bet: Brighton to win a game of over 2.5 goals @ 33/20
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