Sheff Utd v Birmingham betting tips: Blues record worth scrutiny
Preview and odds for Saturday’s Championship clash
The EFL Championship gets under way with the Blades and Blues hoping for better campaigns this term, and we look at the odds for some potential Sheff Utd v Birmingham betting tips.
A decade has passed since Birmingham City were in England’s top division. Relegated Sheffield United will hope to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
They open their respective EFL Championship campaigns at Bramall Lane on Saturday, with the game live on Sky Sports at 8pm BST.
Sheff Utd v Birmingham match odds
If new boss Slavisa Jokanovic is true to form, Sheffield United fans can expect plenty of swaggering, attacking football this season as they bid make an immediate return to the riches of the premier League.
Sheffield United are 5/6 to get off to a winning start against Birmingham City and are one of the leading contenders in the Championship winner odds.
The loss of central defender Jack O’Connell, who played just two games before suffering a major knee injury, was the catalyst for a spiral that saw the Blades win just seven games and finish dead last in the Premier League with a mere 23 points.
Having led Watford to the Premier League in 2015 and then Fulham to a Championship play-off final success with Fulham in 2017-18, the Bramall Lane faithful will hope for a Jokanovic hat-trick.
They can expect a different formation and style of play from the Chris Wilder era – the 3-5-2 combination which propelled them from League One to the Premier League is likely to change to a 3-4-3 or 4-3-3 system, with the emphasis on a high press and defending from the front.
The Blades are loaded up front at present with six senior strikers on the books, and rotation will be important this season with so many games.
Birmingham City are 40/1 to win the Championship, having struggled in the division for too many years. They have not finished higher than 17th in any of the last five seasons.
Lee Bowyer improved their fortunes last season after his appointment in March and will hope to maintain that momentum.
Sheff Utd v Birmingham head-to-head
Birmingham have been something of a bogey side to the Blades in recent years. In the last 33 meetings, the Blades have won just five times, the last of those coming in March 2009.
However, the Blades have not lost to Birmingham at home in the league since Blues won 2-1 at Bramall Lane in a League One clash in March 2000. It is 16/1 that Birmingham win by the same scoreline this time.
Three of the last four meetings have been drawn and it is 12/5 that both sides take a point again.
Sheff Utd v Birmingham team news
Pre-season has not gone well for the visitors who started off with a comfortable win over Cheltenham, but a draw with Barrow, and defeats to West Brom, Northampton and Tamworth have set alarm bells ringing.
Injuries to Dion Sanderson and Ivan Sunjic mean Bowyer is a little hamstrung, although he is unlikely to revert from playing three at the back and a likely 3-4-1-2 formation.
Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge is back training but isn’t expected to be ready after being hit by Covid-19 and Matija Sarkic is likely to make his debut. New signing Ryan Woods is expected to play in midfield with Gary Gardner.
Counterpart Jokanovic is looking for the right blend up front, although one player that has stood out in pre-season is Lys Mousset, who has scored three goals in two games for the Blades, who are 7/4 to win to nil.
Sheff Utd v Birmingham key battles
Birmingham will need to find a way to protect the inexperienced Sarkic against a side who are expected to deliver plenty of goals in the Championship this term.
Birmingham are Evens to win or draw the game on the Double Chance market, while Sheffield United are 13/4 to win the game after being held to a draw at half-time.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication