As we approach the business end of the season, Birmingham City have gone into receivership, and yet it is the Blues who are still trading in the playoff market. With 6 games remaining, it is still mathematically possible they can reach those playoffs (however unlikely). On the field, it is Leeds United who are bankrupt of possibility this season, and it will be interesting to see how the Whites come out after four matches without a win.
Mover and Shaker
With Leeds' major summer investment, Chris Wood, unable to capitalize on gilt-edged opportunities in Saturday's loss to Burnley, and with Doukara's season ending ban for biting, March's SkyBet Championship Player of the Month nominee, Mirco Antenucci, is in this writer's opinion the only mover and shaker that can do the business for Leeds. He should be starting this game if Leeds are to gain maximum profits in this fixture.
At the foot of the Championship index there are only 11 points separating Leeds from Milton Keynes who occupy the final relegation spot. It's not lost on the rightly-pessimistic Leeds faithful that their place in the Championship next season is not yet a surety. Maximum returns are required against Birmingham to ensure that Leeds are still trading in the Championship next season and their stock doesn't fall further.
Back in October, under previous Manager Uwe Rosler, Leeds lost the home tie against the Blues 2 goals to nil, yet there is not much on paper to separate to the two sides. If Leeds United Head Coach Steve Evans gets the line-up and tactics right it should pay dividends.
Of their last five, Birmingham have lost 2, drawn 2 and won 1. They have scored 5 and conceded 5.
Of their last five, Leeds United has lost 3, drawn 1, and won 1. They have scored 5 and conceded 9.
Of the 48 meetings at Birmingham the host have been victors 27 times, Leeds 12 and games drawn is 9.
Leeds player to watch
Antenucci was industrious against Burnley when he came on, so he's my player to watch in this one. In March, his four goals in four games earned him a SkyBet Player of the Month nomination. With his contract up at the end of the season, ‘The Beard' is still trying to impress, and Leeds could benefit from this should he be given the opportunity. He is joint top-scorer with 9 goals and has added 3 assists.
Birmingham player to watch
It was a surprise to many that Kyle Lafferty chose to move to a club in receivership rather than Leeds who had publicly courted him for months. With Leeds being unable to broker a deal, Lafferty opted for the Blues. Most Leeds fans were skeptical of Lafferty's ability, and this is an opportunity for them to see if the Northern Irish hitman is worth pursuing in the summer. Since his loan, Lafferty has played two games for Birmingham and scored a single goal.
Birmingham City FC v Leeds United
Football League Championship
St. Andrew's, Birmingham
BBC Radio Leeds, LUTV
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
11:45a PT / 2:45p ET / 7:45p BT
Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor, Diagouraga, Murphy, Cook, Dallas, Antenucci, Wood
Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Coyle, Bellusci, Adeyemi, Phillips, Mowatt, Carayol
Legzdins, Caddis, Morrison, Shotton, Grounds, Gleeson, Davis, Kieftenbeld, Cotterill, Donaldson, Lafferty
Subs: Kuszczak, Fabbrini, Vaughan, Solomon-Otabor, Maghoma, Toral, Spector
Again, I predict a low-scoring draw. 1-1.
Make sure you read our Q&A with Birmingham blog Often Partisan before this game, and remember to leave comments below or on social media. Follow along with the game at @ThruItAllLive (embedded below) and find us on Facebook and Twitter as well. (And tell your friends!) Thanks for reading. #MOT.