Sunderland manger Steve Bruce will be looking to consolidate his team’s status as a Premier League side this weekend.
The Black Cats travel to St Andrews in freefall, having not won any of their last eight games. The Stadium of Light faithful last tasted victory on January 22nd, when relegation battlers Blackpool were put to the sword 2-1.
As such, the visitors are priced at 23/10 for tomorrow’s trip to Birmingham, with a successful £10 bet returning £33.
Sunderland’s recent dip in form coincided with the loss of talismanic striker Darren Bent, who has taken his prowess in front of goal to Aston Villa. The move leaves Asamoah Gyan as the only Black Cats player on double figures for the season.
The Ghana hitman is clearly the away side’s main source of goals and if Sunderland are to halt their slide down the league he will need to be on top of his game.
Odds of 11/2 are currently being offered on Gyan to hit the first goal of the tie, but there are other players at Bruce’s disposal who know how to find the net.
On-loan Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck has impressed enough to earn an England cap this season and has odds of 13/2 to get the visitors off the mark.
However, punters looking for better returns could be tempted by the 33/1-priced Phil Bardsley, who has displayed an eye for the spectacular strike of late.
While Sunderland’s form leaves them with one eye on the Premier League, Birmingham are currently staring life in the Championship straight in the face.
One win in the last six sees Alex McLeish’s men sitting just two points above the relegation places in 15th. But that said, the home side are expected to earn three points for their fans tomorrow and are currently priced at 11/10 for the win.
Therefore, punters looking for bigger returns when they bet on Birmingham could be better placed to look at the first goalscorer options.
The Blues have no players in double figures, which means some interesting odds can be found throughout their line-up.
Craig Gardner, the club’s top scorer this season, can be backed at 9/1, meaning returns of £100 from a £10 stake.
Nikola Zigic, while failing to light up the division in his debut season, has notched eight times this term and is currently priced at 11/2.
However, crowd favourite Cameron Jerome would love to fire the goals that ensure safety for Birmingham and the 24-year-old is priced at 6/1 to break the deadlock.
A successful £10 bet on the former Cardiff man would return £70. New customers can register here to receive a £25 free bet.