Birmingham v Aston Villa preview: Second City derby live on Sky Sports Football
Last Updated: 29/10/17 11:37am
Birmingham's record signing Jota will hope to be given a starting berth for the derby against Aston Villa.
The Spaniard returned from a hamstring injury as a substitute in last weekend's loss to Millwall. Tomasz Kuszczak is set to continue in goal with David Stockdale still recovering from a broken wrist while Carl Jenkinson (shoulder) is out.
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Villa have a number of injury worries. Henri Lansbury (knee) and Gabby Agbonlahor (calf), who has a good scoring record against Blues, are both still struggling and look set to miss out.
Jack Grealish and Mile Jedinak are working their way back from long-term injuries and are unlikely to be risked. Alan Hutton will continue at left-back with Neil Taylor serving the final match of his three-game suspension.
Birmingham City have failed to win their last 10 league matches against rivals Aston Villa (D3 L7), their joint-longest winless run against the Villans (also their first 10 meetings between 1894 to 1905).
The last two league meetings between these two sides at St. Andrew's have ended as 1-1 draws; there has never been three consecutive league stalemates between these two rivals at Birmingham.
Steve Bruce has lost five of his seven managerial visits to St. Andrew's (W1 D1) as an opposing manager, while this will be Steve Cotterill's first match against Aston Villa since October 2005, when he was in charge of Burnley in a League Cup tie, losing 1-0 at Villa Park.
Villa have scored three more league goals in the first half (11) this season than Birmingham have managed in total (8).
However, the Villans have conceded the highest proportion of their Championship goals (85%, 11 of 13) in the second half of games.
In their last meeting back in April, Gabriel Agbonlahor scored a match-winning goal for Villa against Birmingham for the third time in his career (also Sept 2009 & Nov 2007).
If you can't get yourself up for a game like this then what can you get yourself up for? The Second City derby returns and it should be a fabulous occasion as St Andrew's. Steve Cotterill was riding high after winning his first game in charge against Cardiff, but Birmingham came down with a bit of a bump at Millwall last week and he'll want a reaction here.
Aston Villa, meanwhile, are in the play-offs and they'll want to continue to close in on the top two, but I feel like this will be a draw. Albeit an entertaining one.
Prutton predicts: 2-2 with Jonathan Kodjia to score first (60/1 with Sky Bet)