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Rupert Wyman 5th Jan 2012 - 21:18

Zigic helps Brum land the spoils

If you are from the Midlands, then derbies do not get much bigger than the tie between Wolves and Birmingham City. The Premier League strugglers face a Birmingham side that are used to cup matches this season.

They may have been relegated in the previous campaign but they are the holders of the Carling Cup and they performed admirably in Europe this season. Chris Houghton puts out strong sidesand the fans will not want to lose against Wolves.

The home win is 13/10, the draw is 23/10 and the away win is 21/10. The Blues have a fantastic cup record of late, they have made it into the quarter-finals in each of the last two seasons. They have also only lost one of their last five meetings with Wolves in all competitions.

Wolves are more likely to rest players than the Blues, they are in a relegation dogfight and if they take a good look at Birmingham, they will be able to see that success in the cup can hinder your progress in the league.

They also have a bigger squad, they may rest their in-from forward Steven Fletcher. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake looks likely to start and he was a cracking player at Championship level, he wants first team football and he is keen to impress. He is 13/2 to grab the first goal and 15/8 to find the net anytime.

Roger Johnson is 25/1 to score anytime and he found the post against Chelsea the other day. He changed Midlands clubs in the Summer and he was always one of Birmingham's better players.

Wolves were unlucky against Chelsea at Molineux and they will be looking to make amends for the loss. Lampard should have been sent-off for the West London club and they had the better chances.

They are not scoring often enough though and under 2.5 goals looks a realistic prospect at 8/11. A red card is 4/1 and with the television cameras glaring down on the players and local pride at stake, it could be a heated derby.

Over three Wolves cards at 5/2 looks a good punt, they are a rough physical side and they will meet their match with Birmingham, if the match is not going to plan and they find themselves a few goals down, you can expect a high card count.

One player looking to impress for Birmingham is Nikola Zigic, he is supposed to be on £50000 a week and he was one of their marquee signings in the Premier League. Injuries and lack of form hampered him but he is still dangerous and he can take advantage of an average Wolves defense.

The Serbian giant is 6/1 to score the opening goal and 7/4 to find the net anytime. The transfer window has opened and there will be a few Premier League clubs looking for bargain buys and he can prove that he can still cut it against the better sides.




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