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Birmingham v Leicester
The Championship concludes with Birmingham v Leicester on Monday evening, but that’s far from everything available here on ABC. Our football coverage this upcoming week will include EFL betting predictions and EFL accumulator tips. We also have plenty of non-EFL content, with a huge range of football tips and expert betting predictions to help you craft yourself a winner this weekend.
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It doesn’t seem like the ideal fixture for Wayne Rooney to build on their deserved victory at Cardiff last time out. Leicester are currently enjoying the greatest-ever start to a Championship season, and the Foxes will be buoyed by the fact that Ipswich dropped points on Saturday.
With January approaching, Rooney will be hoping that he will be backed in the transfer market, especially in key positions, such as centre forward. For the umpteenth season in a row, Lukas Jutkiewicz is proving his worth to yet another manager, but using a 34-year-old forward with a 1-in-5 goal record whose contract is up at the end of the season cannot be ideal.
Leicester have the exact opposite of these problems. They currently have three strikers who are scoring pretty much whenever they play in Kelechi Iheanacho, Jamie Vardy, and, currently in the starting berth, Patson Daka. All players would be in contention to be starters in most Premier League sides, so it is a problem for Enzo Maresca, but a much nicer problem to have than Rooney’s.
The movement of Birmingham since the takeover of the club has been undoubtedly positive in all areas, except the one that really matters, especially to fans. The stadium that will host the league leaders is finally being redeveloped, and there are improvements in most other areas as well.
A win for Birmingham here, though unlikely, would provide a massive boost on the pitch to match what is happening off it.
Birmingham v Leicester Cheat Sheet
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⚽ Match stats: Leicester so impressive in all aspects of performance
As well as being top of the table, Leicester prove their dominance of the league across the performance data as well.
The Foxes sit at or near the top of all of the performance metrics. They are just 2nd to Ipswich in xG and goals, 2nd to Leeds in big chances created, though they are also third, to Blackburn and Middlesbrough, in big chances missed as well.
They are being dominant in attacking metrics as well as keeping control of the ball. They average the second highest number of passes in the league, behind Southampton, but well clear of anyone else, Hull City are third.
Not only are the Foxes dominant in the attacking side of the game, but they have conceded the fewest goals in the league by a distance, and have the best xG conceded record as well. So teams aren’t scoring against them because they are being denied good chances to do so.
Birmingham face a tough evening then as they are also the 22nd best team in the Championship at creating big chances, they have only done so 18 times this season, less than one big chance per match. This compares to Leicester’s 47.
Defensively, Birmingham have been better than their current league position. They are in midtable for both goals and xG conceded, but this will be tested against Leicester.
🏆 Leicester to win @ 1.53
🎯 Shooting stats: Shots could be low, but wide forwards ready to shine
Though Birmingham could struggle for a high number of shots, some their individual players could still be worth following for shots.
Juninho Bacuna is the second highest shooter per 90 for Birmingham and could be the value selection for Blues. Lukas Jutkiewicz tops that particular metric thanks to his heading proficiency, and may be another option.
Leicester obviously have a variety of threats. The problem is trying to work out who starts and even then, will they get the full 90 minutes? Maresca tends to rotate his forward line regularly, and though all of the forwards have impressive shots per 90 totals, the chances of any of them getting long enough on the field to be confident in their prices is another matter.
As usual, this then leads us to the midfielders. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall is joint top scorer for the Foxes, but is priced short enough, but Wilfred Ndidi has been good value all season and though he has been caught up with to a certain extent, there is still enough juice in his price to back for shots here.
🎯 Juninho Bacuna to have 1+ shots on target @ 2.25
🎯 Wilfred Ndidi to have 1+ shots on target @ 2.88
🚩 Corners stats: Birmingham one of six Championship clubs conceding more corners at home than they earn
As impressive as Leicester have been in general play, their performance dominance doesn’t really translate into dominance at corners.
The Foxes are unable to overcome the general trend of conceding more corners than earning them on their travels. They average 4.3 corners taken versus 4.9 corners conceded on the road, which alone makes their price for the corner match bet feel a little bit on the short side for this fixture.
However, Birmingham are one of only six teams to concede more corners than they earn at home. Most of the other teams in this group are all teams that frequent the bottom of the league, Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth, Rotherham, and Huddersfield, Preston are the other outlier.
Birmingham are in a bit of a catch-22 tactically. If they are going to use Jutkiewicz as a centre forward then they could do with getting set piece delivery into the box, but it is difficult to establish possession high up the field and maintain it with a more static centre forward. However, an 11.7 average number of corners in Birmingham home matches is one of the higher numbers in the league.
🚩 Over 9.5 match corners @ 1.57
🚩 Over 4.5 Birmingham corners @ 2.20
🟨 Cards stats: Birmingham expected to foul more often and receive more cards
* I recommend waiting for confirmed team line-ups before placing any bets.
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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