Birmingham v Sunderland predictions: St Andrew’s stalemate on the cards | Sports News

Gualter Fatia

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Alex Pritchard will try to bring Sunderland attack to life

Gualter Fatia

Free soccer tips, best bets and analysis for Birmingham v Sunderland in the Championship on Friday.

where to watch

Sky Sports main event and football, 8 p.m.

Best bet

To draw
1pt 23-10 Boyle

Team News

Harlee Dean is a major doubt. Krystian Bielik returns from a ban. Nico Gordon, Marc Roberts, Craig Gardner and Przemyslaw Placheta are absent.

Right-back Luke O’Nien is suspended. Defenders Aji Alese and Dan Ballard, wing-back Lynden Gooch, midfielder Edouard Michut and top scorer Ross Stewart are still absent.


Blues boss John Eustace must have bemoaned the fixture schedule after Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw against Swansea, and it certainly seems to be working against his club.

Birmingham have less than three days to dust themselves off before facing Sunderland, who will be fresher after being spared any midweek action.

It’s certainly a tick in the box for the Black Cats, but Eustace is fully aware that his Birmingham side are nothing if not fighters.

They have lost just two of their last 13 as they defy pre-season predictions and four of their last six games at St Andrews have ended in stalemates. It may well read five out of seven after this game.

Birmingham looked on their feet on Tuesday night although they can make one or two adjustments, including the return of pivotal midfielder Krystian Bielik from a ban.

And Sunderland have their own problems. They have scored just 13 goals in 12 games without sniper Ross Stewart, while also undergoing a defensive reshuffle with Luke O’Nien suspended.

Trai Hume, his likely replacement, has started just once this term and Sunderland have dispatched four that day, against Burnley.

Sunderland have won just two of their last ten and those successes have been against Wigan and Huddersfield, the current bottom two.

The six-day break since a 1-0 home loss to Cardiff is beneficial but their form is less encouraging and this last mission before the World Cup break could easily fall flat.

Key stat

Birmingham have drawn four of their last six home games


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Ruth J. Leeds