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Aston Villa vs Birmingham City: Second City Derby Match Preview

Villa fly into the Second City Derby with a bit of form

Aston Villa v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Aston Villa head up the road to Small Heath today, to play in St Andrews against a faltering Birmingham City side.

Blues still find themselves in the bottom half of the table, and according to an array of statistics. Namely, they’ve only got 4.8 xG through their last six games. That’s the definition of misfiring. What that means? This will be a loss of Villa’s making, if they do lose.

Aston Villa will be weakest on the left flank - thanks to Neil Taylor’s suspension, so Alan Hutton will deputise their - he’s also destined to be sent off in tomorrow’s derby, so place a bet on that - or a red card being shown at the very least. We do know that Gabby Agbonlahor probably won’t show up, but another Brummie, Jack Grealish, is fit and ready. Speaking of local talent, it’s hoped that Callum O’Hare will play a part, but if Grealish is playing, it’s likely that O’Hare will make way. Up front, it’s a certain that Kodjia will be the lone man. If he’s not, Keinan Davis will start alongside him. Aston Villa will be able to rely on a strong defense, but also plenty of talent across the park to see the result through.

Birmingham aren’t really strong anywhere, but if you have to choose where the potential lies, it’s up front - however, their biggest talent in the mercurial Jota hasn’t really performed as of yet. Isaac Vassell continues to be a danger up front, and Marc Roberts is a decent centre-back.

While Birmingham City enjoy middling form and a poor position in the table, Aston Villa are (aside from high-flying Sheffield United) the in form team in the Championship, even counting the loss against Wolves. Villa really will be seeing this as a big chance to move up the table, and progress with promotion, but if Blues are to avoid relegation, their season must start somewhere...

What’s more, Aston Villa can really break away from the rest of the Championship with a win, and what better than doing so against the rivals?

Also, here’s all you need to know about the history of this fixture.

This is a televised game, so check your listings - it’s an early one as well, so be prepared to wake up. early.