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Sheffield Wednesday v Birmingham
The Championship gets underway for the weekend with Sheffield Wednesday v Birmingham on Friday 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 is getting to the stage in the season where the fixtures and the results take on greater significance. This is a big one for both Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham City and will have a great bearing on who might remain in the Championship in 2024.
Both teams have changed their manager already this season. Sheffield Wednesday had to go with an early change to Danny Röhl and initially the change seemed to have done the trick. However, recent results have gone against Röhl and the Owls find themselves eight points from safety.
Birmingham are onto their third manager of the season in Tony Mowbray. The Redcar native was appointed following a disastrous Wayne Rooney tenure took Blues from the play-off picture to the fringes of the relegation battle. Mowbray is still getting to know his squad but will feel confident in his own ability to manage effectively at this level as he has done so with Sunderland, Blackburn, Middlesbrough, and West Brom in the past.
Wednesday fans will know that this is a must-win game for them. It would bring the Owls to within six points of Birmingham, so it drags another club within reach for the bottom three. Expect vociferous support from the Hillsborough Kop through the night air in Sheffield.
Sheffield Wednesday v Birmingham Cheat Sheet
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⚽ Match stats: Sheffield Wednesday still underperforming their data
It would be fair to say that the appointment of Danny Röhl has had a positive effect on Sheffield Wednesday. The results hasn’t exactly matched what is clear in the data, that Röhl’s team is competent, especially defensively.
This wasn’t obvious when conceding four goals in quarter of an hour against Huddersfield last time out, but at home, over a period of ten matches, the Owls have only conceded over 1.5xG once and have won the xG battle on six of the last ten occasions at Hillsborough. Margins are generally kept quite low though keeping all three results within the realms of possibility. This is suggested also by the fact that there has been 4 Wednesday wins, 3 defeats, and 3 draws in the last ten.
This is very positive though compared to Birmingham’s most recent away games. Only two xG battle wins in the last ten, only two actual wins in the last ten, with seven defeats. Blues have a -0.8xG differential per match in those last ten away games as well, which is a big chance differential to overcome in a match.
Mowbray has only overseen three league matches since his appointment in early January but he needs to stamp his authority on the team sooner rather than later to arrest the poor performances in their recent past.
The fact that the last five league matches at Hillsborough have been under 3xG also demonstrates that chances at both ends have been at a premium, though goals have still been converted in most matches. Before the 0-0 against Watford, both teams to score landed in six games in a row.
⚽ Sheffield Wednesday to win @ 2.30
⚽ Both teams to score @ 1.73
🥅 Goalscorer stats: Alex Pritchard to be trusted by Mowbray from the start
There are a couple of interesting angles for a goalscorer bet in this match.
Anthony Musaba has been one of the few Wednesday summer signings that have been successful and Röhl has trusted the forward to play a lot of minutes. He averages almost 2 shots per 90 minutes and has 6xG to his name this season, but has only 4 goals, so he is value to be scoring more regularly than he is.
From a Birmingham perspective, Jay Stansfield is the Blues’ biggest threat, and his style of play will be more suited to having Tony Mowbray as his manager over Wayne Rooney, so he could kick on in the second half of the season.
However, Alex Pritchard arrived late in the window from Sunderland, and was thrown straight into the starting XI by Mowbray. Pritchard had found some shooting form with Sunderland prior to his, rather ill-tempered, transfer, and if he is provided space in the #10 slot for Birmingham then he will be a real goal threat, especially for his price.
⚽ Anthony Musaba to score anytime @ 4.50
⚽ Anthony Musaba to score first @ 8.50
⚽ Alex Pritchard to score anytime @ 4.50
⚽ Alex Pritchard to score first @ 9.0
🚩 Corner stats: Low total expected with Sheff Wed to edge it
It is difficult to take too much notice of Birmingham’s seasonal corner statistics when they have had the season they have had. John Eustace overperformed his data, then Wayne Rooney struggled massively. Overall, Birmingham away are on the lower end of the expected total corners at less than 11 per match, and they concede more than they earn, 4 vs 6.73.
Sheffield Wednesday’s home matches are really low on the average corner numbers, less than 10 per match. They are rightful favourites for the match bet here as well when you combine Birmingham’s away record with Sheffield Wednesday’s positive home record of 5.27 vs 4.2.
⚽ Over 4.5 Sheff Weds corners @ 1.50
⚽ Under 10.5 total corners @ 1.50
🛑 Foul stats: Birmingham wingers to threaten Sheff Wed wide defenders
Barry Bannan is performing a club captain’s role of playing as much as he can and giving everything to the cause.
He is averaging just under a foul per 90, but in a match as important as this one it is difficult to envisage Bannan not being at the heart of the match. He obviously isn’t as mobile as anyone else on the pitch, especially at 34, but he will want to pull his weight defensively and his price for just one foul looks playable.
Pol Valentin could have his hands full if he starts here too. Siriki Dembele is likely to be his direct opponent and he is by far Birmingham’s most fouled player, fouled on average over twice a game. Valentin is more usually a foul a game kind of player, but he could be up against it on Friday night.
Dembele himself is no stranger to the referee’s whistle. He averages close to 1.5 fouls per 90 and is worth sticking in a bet builder for at least one foul here.
Sheff Wed are likely to be playing a three at the back system, which means that there a couple of interesting candidates for fouls against Birmingham, whose wide forwards and full backs are so dangerous.
Whether it is Wilfried Gnonto, Jaidon Anthony, Dan James or Crysencio Summerville, any of those players have a fouls against record that proves that they are fouled more than once per 90 minutes at least.
Mickel Miller played as left wing back in the original tie, and has the highest fouls per 90 numbers of a regular Sheff Wed player so is worth supporting in this market.
However, Brendon Galloway is also worth backing for one foul as well. He is a much bigger price but is equally likely to be threatened on the ground by the Birmingham attackers.
Finally, Georginio Rutter is by far the biggest fouler of the Birmingham line-up. He started the last match so is likely to line up here as well. It is fairly surprising that he hasn’t been priced up shorter here.
⚽ Pol Valentin to commit 1+ foul @ 1.20
⚽ Pol Valentin to commit 2+ fouls @ 2.0
⚽ Barry Bannan to commit 1+ fouls @ 1.61
⚽ Siriki Dembele to commit 1+ fouls @ 1.25
* 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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