Wolves v Birmingham City Betting Tips: Hosts set for goals at Molineux

19:45/Feb 24

Football writer Thomas Giles previews the upcoming Championship match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City.

This Midlands derby is not only important in terms of local pride but, with both teams looking nervously over their shoulder at the Championship relegation zone, is important as they look to survive.

Wolves have been on a bad run of late with four straight defeats in all competitions. However, they showed a lot of fight in their cup defeat against Chelsea last weekend and can be very pleased with their performance. If they can put on those sorts of displays in the remaining league fixtures, Wolves will no doubt stay in the Championship.

Goals have been the problem for Paul Lambert’s side in the last few weeks with just one scored in their last four matches. Lambert has opted to rotate his side in recent games which probably does not help matters, I expect him to pick a more consistent side for the rest of the season which will help their cause. Wolves were a mess at the back when the Scot arrived a few months ago but he has turned it around and they now have the 12th-best defensive record in the division – better than a number of the play-off-chasing sides.

Molineux was of course packed to the rafters for the visit of Chelsea which undoubtedly had a positive effect on the Wolves players. It will be a similar situation on Friday night and so the Wolves players will be really up for the match against Birmingham. Lambert’s men have only taken 15 points from 15 matches at Molineux this season but that almost goes out the window when it comes to derby matches.

Birmingham are one of the worst-performing sides in the Championship right now and have won just one match since Gianfranco Zola replaced Gary Rowett in the managerial hotseat back in December. Instead of looking up towards the play-offs, Blues are now looking nervously over their shoulder at the bottom three with many fans already calling for the Italian manager’s head.

Zola has brought a new philosophy to Birmingham and there is no doubt that they now have more possession in matches. However, they are not doing anything with it and are finding goals hard to come by. Furthermore, under Rowett, they were solid at the back but that has now gone out the window with Birmingham keeping just two clean sheets in Zola’s 14 matches in charge. It is no coincidence that Blues’ new defensive coach (appointed by Zola) has no experience in English football.

Blues have taken just two points from a possible 21 under Zola away from home and, with confidence being so low at the moment, that does not look like changing here.

The result of this match very much depends on which Wolves side turns up. If they play like they did against Chelsea, they should beat this Birmingham side with something to spare. The visitors are all over the shop at the moment, particularly at the back and I fear for them here against a hungry Wolves side. This looks the perfect opportunity for the home team to re-find their scoring touch and thus ‘Wolves to Score Over 1.5 Goals’ is the bet to go for.

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Single: Lost
Wolves v Birmingham City
24.02.2017 19:45 \B\S\T
Championship
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