Birmingham City will look to move within two points of the Championship promotion places when they host Portsmouth on Tuesday night.
Blues are the form team in England’s second tier having taken 18 points from their last eight games, and a goalless draw at second-placed Southampton has put them in a strong position to fight for automatic promotion back to the Premier League (5/2 To Be Promoted @ Coral
). They now trail Saints by five points, but Tuesday’s game represents Birmingham’s game-in-hand and a victory would put them hot on the heels of both Southampton and league leaders West Ham.
Standing in their way are Portsmouth, who come into this game fresh after seeing their weekend fixture against Hull City postponed. Prior to that they had ended a two-game losing run, against promotion candidates Cardiff City and West Ham, by beating Peterborough, but Birmingham will be a much tougher prospect than Posh (Birmingham 7/10, Draw 13/5, Portsmouth 4/1 @ BetVictor
Blues have a wealth in attacking talent with the likes of Marlon King (9/2 First Goalscorer @ Betfred
), Chris Wood and Chris Burke contributing a combined 30 goals this season, and Nikola Zigic (11/2 First Goalscorer @ Bet365
) appears to have found his scoring touch in recent weeks after helping himself to four goals in last week’s victory at Leeds United.
Pompey’s defence is one of the better ones in the division, despite their poor league position, and they will be confident of limiting the chances Birmingham get, but Blues are in red-hot at the minute having netted 20 goals in their last seven games in all competitions.
It would be wrong to look past the hot hand when it comes to this fixture, and Birmingham are 11/4 at bet365 to win by one goal, with a two-goal winning margin for Blues priced 15/4.
Half Time/Full Time – Birmingham/Birmingham 8/5 @ Paddy Power