THE Second City derby takes place on Tuesday in the Capital One Cup. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) gives us his thoughts on the betting.
Aston Villa v Birmingham | Tuesday 19:45 | Sky Sports 1
When researching this match I stumbled across some quotes from the managers. They couldn’t be more contrasting.
Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood uses words and phrases like “intense”, “blood and thunder”, “we’ve got players who can handle it” and “it’s not a normal game”. Birmingham boss Gary Rowett prefers rhetoric like “we’re in a really good place”, “we’ve got everything to look forward to”, “there’s no pressure on us” and “we can go there a little bit freer”.
Sherwood seems the kind of guy who could make a trip to the shops to buy milk and a paper sound utterly epic, but surely these words grow hollow after a while?
I’ve always been a fan of his since he turned up at Villa (and been slagged off for that) but you do have to wonder about his long-term (or even medium-term) suitability when he’s so intense about so many things. I thought his post-match interview after the Leicester game was embarrassing. By all means show that you’re hurt, but stay in control, that’s your job.
I fear these tactics might start to be wearing thin at Villa Park. While Sherwood’s predecessor Paul Lambert seemed far too laid-back and lacking in inspiration he’s the opposite end of the scale. Villa probably need something in the middle.
Just 10 places separate these sides in the English pyramid and Birmingham have lost just one of their seven league matches in 2015/16. As Rowett says, they look in a good place.
At 21/20 best price I can’t be backing Aston Villa on Tuesday. They haven’t won a game in the league for six weeks and aren’t sitting pretty in 17th place. Will they rise to the occasion? Well they certainly failed to do that on FA Cup Final day didn’t they?
I was going to back Birmingham +1 here at 5/6 but then I thought a wiser wager might be to back them to qualify. That’s a much bigger 7/4 with Coral, if they get to extra time they’ll be in a great position and the 7/4 will look a lot better than 5/6.
Aston Villa v Birmingham – Birmingham to qualify (7/4 Coral)
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