Birmingham v Derby | Friday 10th September 2021, 20:00 | Sky Sports
With the international break over until next month at least, we resume league duties this weekend and that commences on Friday night as Birmingham welcome Derby to St Andrew’s. It has been a decent start to the season from both sides in their own kind of way, with the Blues sitting just outside the play-offs, whilst Wayne Rooney’s pre-season relegation favourites have lost only one Championship clash so far.
Something Rooney will be envious of is what Lee Bowyer managed to achieve on transfer deadline day when managing to lure Troy Deeney to his boyhood club from Watford.
Having taken a significant wage cut, he now battles with the likes of Lukas Jutkiewicz, Scott Hogan and Chuks Aneke for a spot in the starting XI. He only has 25 minutes of competitive football under his belt from the opening month of the campaign with Watford so he is likely to be introduced from the bench.
The Rams didn’t have a transfer deadline day spree or anything to that nature, with no faces either coming or going in this crazy period. Just managing to add Sam Baldock and Phil Jagielka to their squad a few weeks prior was seen as a bit of an achievement given their financial issues, so Rooney probably won’t have been surprised he didn’t manage to add anyone else. They are however restricted to free agents right now, so they could add another face or two outside of the usual transfer window dates.
For as much as Birmingham have had a good start to the season, they are still missing a maiden home win of the campaign, in the Championship at least. They are scoreless in the draw to Stoke and defeat to Bournemouth, so the addition of Deeney could help cure that.
Derby have endured mixed fortunes on the road as well, with a hard earned victory in Hull but also a last gasp defeat to Peterborough, a game where they conceded twice late in injury time, on their results sheet.
Birmingham are certainly seen as a club who could potentially make a play-off push this season. Certainly since Bowyer entered the building they have developed more of a winning mentality after surprisingly struggling under Aitor Karanka previously. It is just three league defeats in 15 for Bowyer since getting the job last March.
Birmingham are favourites to win on Friday night and odds-on to do so, but they’ve blown hot and cold a little bit so far to be super confident about their chances. The 5-0 win at Luton was a bit of a freak result and as close to perfection as you can get, but they’re still finding their feet.
On a personal note, I’ve had a bit of joy on the card markets in more recent times, and I’m now prepared to throw that out to the betting nation to see if they wish to jump on board. It is only really the televised matches which you can get involved in player specific card markets, and with that being the case it does throw up some bigger prices.
Getting in early is quite important as often players who should start will end up way bigger than someone who is unlikely to do so.
There is always a degree of the speculative when backing player card markets. Just because someone has received quite a few bookings already, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll do so in a game like this. You have to take everything into account.
The first punt I’m going for is Troy Deeney to be Booked at 11/2 (Bet365). This is his first game since signing, and for his boyhood club, and so emotions will be high. He could start this on the bench, so risks are attached on markets like this, but even if he does come on, he’ll get stuck in and could possibly take his shirt off if scoring. Context is key.
Craig Forsyth is banned for Derby in this one following an incident in the Nottingham Forest game before the international break. He has been the main left back this season, so this hands a chance for Lee Buchanan to come back into the side. He has played over the international break with England Under-20s, so we won’t be so fresh, plus he’ll be eager to impress Rooney to try and make that position his own. I think 5/1 (Bet365) on him receiving a card is too good to resist.
A third and final booking play I like the look of is probably the one I am most confident about and that is Kristian Pedersen at 9/2 (Bet365). This guy loves getting stuck in and is never one to shy away from a tackle. He has three bookings in his five Championship appearances this season already, so on that basis this price should be way lower, especially considering you’ve got some priced at 15/8 and 9/4, which offers no appeal whatsoever.
It’s also worth noting that even though you’re backing a player to be booked, you’ll still be paid out if the player were to receive a straight red card. You are restricted in terms of which bookies offer these type of markets, so if you’re restricted with Bet365 like me then it can be frustrating!