The international break might have put a kink in Leicester’s upward momentum, but for Birmingham City the season hasn’t really got going. European commitments have meant Chris Hughton’s side have played only eight Championship matches so far. This, their ninth fixture, will the be sixth not to have taken place as originally scheduled on a Saturday afternoon.
Disjointed as the season has been, Birmingham have played to the form book. They’ve beaten three of the bottom four, drawn with the two sides immediately either side of them in the table and lost at each of the top three clubs.
But there are signs that Birmingham will not linger in their mediocre league position for long. Games in hand help of course, but so do morale boosting away wins – first in Europe and then at the City Ground. The Blues had to come from behind in both matches to win, so Leicester fans expecting their side to steamroller Birmingham this weekend in the same fashion Derby were dispensed with a fortnight ago should think again.
The contest doesn’t appear to have goals written all over it, in most part thanks to strong defences. Birmingham have conceded just once at home, whilst Leicester have shipped just three on their travels.
The Foxes are unbeaten in seven visits to St. Andrews, and arrive on an impressive unbeaten league run too. But Leicester haven’t won away from home in the league since the opening day and in Chris Wood (seven goals in his last five league games), Birmingham have a striker who could pose real problems for Leicester’s four match run of clean sheets.
If Leicester stretch that run of clean sheets to five, it will be the club’s best sequence without conceding since they took the Division Two title in the 1979/80 campaign. Leave St. Andrews with at least a point, and the Foxes will be unbeaten in eight league games, matching their best spells without defeat from each of the last two seasons.