Kick-off: 1230, 16/01/2021
Stadium: Riverside Stadium
TV: Sky Sports
Birmingham boss Aitor Karanka could badly do with a positive result to ease the pressure on him as he prepares to return to his former club Middlesbrough on Saturday lunchtime.
Blues have taken just one point from their last six league games and are only four points clear of the relegation zone, having played more games than most of the teams below them.
They were thrashed 4-1 at home by Boro last month and another defeat here is an easy pick at 4/5 as our opening Middlesbrough vs Birmingham prediction.
A Look At Middlesbrough’s Betting Odds
Middlesbrough have one of the best home records in the Championship having won seven and drawn two of their 10 matches at the Riverside Stadium, with their only defeat here coming against leaders Norwich.
Since then they have won four in a row on home soil and they also have the best home defensive record in the division, with just four goals conceded.
The 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Brentford last time out is of no concern, with boss Neil Warnock having rested many of his regular first-team starters.
Winning promotion is the sole aim for the experienced manager this season and this looks a good opportunity to put pressure on the teams above them.
Boro were good value for the 4-1 win last month, when they came from behind to record their biggest league win in nearly six years.
Warnock said after the game: “Once we equalised I thought we were right on the front foot.
“From then on we were really dominant, created some great chances and could have scored more goals. I love to see them on the front foot – I can’t keep them back.”
Boro have won and kept clean sheets in all five home matches against bottom-half teams this season so, looking at the Middlesbrough vs Birmingham odds, another win to nil appeals at 8/5.
A Look At Birmingham City’s Betting Odds
The best hope for Birmingham is that playing away from St Andrew’s helps them put on a better show than they did in last month’s meeting when they were well beaten despite taking an early lead through Maxime Colin.
Blues have lost eight of their 12 home games but have only suffered two away defeats, claiming three wins and six draws on their travels.
Their 11 road trips have only produced 17 goals so Boro may struggle to be quite as prolific as they were in the previous meeting.
They shouldn’t need to be though, with Birmingham having gone four matches without a goal in all competitions, and we fancy a 2-0 home win at 7/1 as the last of our Middlesbrough vs Birmingham betting tips.
Brentford 2-1 MIDDLESBROUGH
Man City 3-0 BIRMINGHAM
Head-to-head: Birmingham 1-4 Middlesbrough, Middlesbrough 1-1 Birmingham, Birmingham 2-1 Middlesbrough, Birmingham 1-2 Middlesbrough, Middlesbrough 1-0 Birmingham
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