St. Andrew’s Stadium will host Saturday’s football game between Birmingham City and Stoke City, the two teams with totally different ambitions in the season finale. The Blues are eager to secure the Championship survival, while the Potters aim to stay in the playoffs race. Birmingham City are seven points clear of the relegation zone ahead of Matchday 41, meaning that they should be happy with one point from Saturday’s clash.
With just six matches left, Stoke need to win every game and require help from elsewhere, an unlikely scenario for a team which has failed to win three games in a row all season.
At a time when the club has had to cope with FFP issues, there are still positives for O'Neill to take from what has been a year of consolation.
For Birmingham, Jacob Boyd-Munce is sidelined with injury, while Ivan Sanchez is a major doubt. You should bear in mind that the Blues are eyeing their third consecutive win at home ground.
Faced with a number of difficult fixtures on his arrival at Birmingham, it was far from certain that Lee Bowyer would instigate a revival at St Andrew's during his opening four games.
However, seven points from fixtures against Reading, Watford, Swansea City and Brentford has been regarded as a major success, giving supporters some much-needed optimism for the future. With Rotherham still possessing four matches in hand, the task of avoiding the drop into the third tier is far from complete, but Bowyer knows that two wins from the club's remaining six fixtures could be enough.
Birmingham still possess the worst attacking record in the division, having failed to score a goal from open play for almost four fixtures. Nevertheless, back-to-back clean sheets against Swansea and Brentford have kept Blues moving in the right direction ahead of three games against several of their relegation rivals later this month.
Following back-to-back wins over Derby County and Bristol City, the Potters suffered a 2-1 loss to Millwall on Monday. Anyhow, Stoke want this win more than Birmingham, and we predict that the visitors are going to pick up all three points from the match. Tyrese Campbell, Nathan Collins, Alfie Doughty, and Morgan Fox are injured for the visitors.