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Nic Ladds 11th Sep 2010 - 15:43

A draw is a Brum deal for Liverpool's title hopes

Roy Hodgson's Liverpool side haven't exactly had the perfect start to their league campaign and a trip to St Andrews, where Birmingham lost just twice last season, could end Liverpool's slender title dreams before they even begin.

Birmingham (23/10) have strengthened well over summer bringing in Czech defender Martin Jiranek, former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb, Chilean Jean Beausejour, ex-Man Utd keeper Ben Foster and big striker Nikola Zigic.

The sort of competition these new signings bring means the currently undefeated Birmingham players could be fighting for their places, which could easily give them enough to beat an over-rated Liverpool side.

Liverpool (13/10) will be boosted after their first league win of the season over West Brom in their last match. Torres got off the mark and it was just what they needed after the thrashing they received at the hands of Manchester City.

I think Birmingham certainly have enough to beat Liverpool and the price is impressive for them to do so, as much as I personally try to avoid betting on the draw, I really fancy both sides to leave St Andrews with a point (21/10).

For those of you not put off by the shorter prices then the 4/7 on Birmingham or draw in the double chance markets seems almost unbeatable to me.

The last six league matches between Birmingham and Liverpool have ended as draws - if this ends all square it will equal the Premier League record for consecutive drawn matches between two teams.

The reason I can't really see Liverpool winning this is their poor form away from Anfield.  Their 0-3 loss to Man City meant they have won just one of their last ten away league matches.

When you consider Birmingham have gone 16 home games without a Premier League defeat, I don't think Roy Hodgson can expect to leave with any more than a point which would leave them in the bottom half of the table with their so-called top four rivals all settling in the top half.

In terms of goalscorers, in our "Match Winner" we're offering 7/1 that both Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres will score anytime. While that is a good price if you fancy it, I don't see Liverpool scoring two goals.

Gerrard has a good record against Birmingham and has scored in six of the nine league matches he has played against Birmingham. I think he could be backable at 13/2 first goal but Fernando Torres is still not fully match fit.

1-1 (11/2) is where my money will be going, also with a little bit on 0-0 (15/2) just in case. Also the draw/draw double result looks decent at 7/2.

Liverpool have not strengthened anywhere near enough to be taken seriously as title contenders this season. Birmingham have added some real quality in their attempt to improve on last season's ninth placed finish. Alex McLeish will be disappointed if he sends his home fans away with anything less than a point on the board.



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