The final West Midlands derby of the season sees Aston Villa lock horns with arch-rivals Birmingham City at lunchtime on Sunday.
Only a few short months ago Aston Villa were moving steadily closer to the Championship relegation zone while Birmingham City were enjoying life under boss Gary Rowett and were riding high in the league table. How the tables have turned.
With just three games left to play, Birmingham sit 20th in the Championship table with just three points separating them from the bottom three. Gary Rowett was sacked earlier in the campaign to be replaced by Gianfranco Zola. The Italian failed to make it to the end of the season and with the Blues looking realistic candidates for relegation to League One, it is now Harry Redknapp who sits in the hot-seat.
He takes charge of a side which appear in turmoil. With no wins to their name since February, Birmingham have plummeted from 7th in the Championship table to 20th and one doesn’t fancy their chances of turning things around when they visit Villa Park on Sunday.
This is a huge match for the Blues and with the home side enjoying life in the top-half of the league table, it is clear who the pressure will be on in this derby match. Redknapp’s men have managed just a solitary point from their last four games, this coming against a woeful Rotherham United side and whilst Aston Villa have failed to win either of their last two games, we feel that they will possess the edge over a Blues outfit which have really lost their way over recent weeks.
Birmingham really do need to win this match, however they were far from impressive when losing 2-0 at fellow strugglers Burton Albion last weekend and we’ll be expecting them to be pushed further into the mire by the Villans on Sunday.