The Sky Bet Championship weekend begins on Friday night when the focus in the early part of the latest round of games turns towards the bottom end of the table as Sheffield Wednesday welcome Birmingham City to Hillsborough.
Both teams are much closer to the trap door out of the division than they would have wanted to be this term. Sheffield Wednesday are much closer to it than Birmingham but this is a match both will be keen to win to make the picture look a little better.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football channels with the build-up at Hillsborough beginning at 7.30pm ahead of the 8pm kick off.
I always thought that this was going to be a tough season for Sheffield Wednesday once they parted company with Darren Moore after they won promotion. They haven’t really been the best run club for a while so you knew they would make a mess of things under a new direction and that is exactly what happened under Xisco Munoz. He was sent on his way having picked up zero wins and just four points from his 12 league games in charge.
Things did look like they were turning under current boss Danny Rohl when he got a few wins and got them to the stage where climbing out of the bottom three was a possibility but as injuries have struck in 2024 their form has dropped off again and the Owls go into this match without a win in their last four in the league and having taken a battering by Coventry City in the FA Cup in midweek. Sheffield Wednesday are now eight points from safety so need an upturn in results sharpish.
It has been a bit of a rollercoaster season for Birmingham City as well. For the first third of the season they looked like they could be play-off contenders under John Eustace only for him to be sacked for seemingly no reason. The Blues then plummeted down the table under Wayne Rooney and dismissed him with Tony Mowbray coming in to mop up the damage and look to turn the club around. He’ll need time to do that but he has to do enough to keep them up this season before looking forward.
He has at least steadied the ship with a win and a draw from his three league matches in charge but there will be a sense that whatever happens this term this is a season which will have got away from the Blues given the position they were in when they ludicrously decided to get rid of Eustace. In all, Birmingham go into this one with one win in their last eight in the Championship but there has been an improvement under Mowbray. Even with that they are just four points above the relegation zone so are anything but safe.
Sign up for a Boylesports account and bet £10 to get up to £20 in free bets! Perfect offer for the Sky Bet Championship! Click the image below for this great offer! New accounts only. 18+ T&Cs apply. Gamble Aware.
Sheffield Wednesday have a whole bunch of injuries with Josh Windass the latest to be ruled out for a while. He joins the likes of John Buckley, Dominic Iorfa and Callum Paterson on the sidelines, while Cameron Dawson and Marvin Johnson remain out too.
Birmingham City are also without their first-choice goalkeeper John Ruddy so Neil Etheridge will continue to deputise for the Blues. Alex Pritchard faces a late check, as does Cody Drameh. Dion Sanderson and Lukas Jutkiewicz are out.
Sheffield Wednesday look to have gone back into a slump having been battered 4-0 in two of their last four league matches and they shipped another four to Coventry City in the cup in midweek. They did make a few changes for that cup game but it shows that the depth of their squad isn’t fantastic and there has to be some tired legs doing the rounds. That makes me think that we need to side with Birmingham City in some shape or form here.
My big problems with Sheffield Wednesday is they don’t score many goals and their wins have come against sides around them apart from Hull City, who were reduced to 10 men early on in that match. Birmingham are technically around Sheffield Wednesday but their form earlier in the season tells us they are better than their league position suggests. You can get odds against on the Blues on the draw no bet line and I think that represents fair value. Mowbray has won here 3-0 with his Sunderland side earlier in the season and I think he can do a double at Hillsborough but given the possible tense nature of the game I’ll take the draw out of the equation.
Back Birmingham City to beat Sheffield Wednesday (DNB) for a 3/10 stake at 2.20 with William Hill
Back them here: