Birmingham City welcome Reading to St Andrew’s in Friday Night Football in 2022-23 Sky Bet Championship.
Victory would see Birmingham City leapfrog their visitors and climb to seventh ahead of the weekend’s fixtures, whilst Reading can go fifth with victory.
Scott Hogan could return for Birmingham City after he missed their goalless draw at Blackpool with a hamstring injury.
Przemyslaw Placheta (shin) is a doubt but Harlee Dean, Gary Gardner (both calf), George Friend (muscle) and Nico Gordon (fitness) remain absent.
Reading could welcome Scott Dann back from a hamstring injury for the first time this season.
Ovie Ejaria (knock), Femi Azeez, Dejan Tetek (both hamstring) and Liam Moore (knee) remain absent.
- Birmingham City have won just two of their last five meetings against Reading (W2, L3), which both came in 2-1 victories during 2020-21 season.
- Reading have won just two of their last six visits to St Andrew’s Stadium against Birmingham City (W2, L4).
- Both teams have scored in each of their last six meetings since a 0-0 draw in May 2019, with each of last four meetings settled by 2-1 results of which both teams won twice.
- Birmingham City have kept just one clean sheet in their last four home matches, which came in a goalless draw against Millwall in early November.
- Reading have kept just one clean sheet in their last six league matches away from home, which came in a goalless draw at Luton in November.
Having scrapped their way to a goalless draw at Blackpool last weekend, Birmingham City can come into this game full of confidence following a positive attacking performance amidst their wasteful finishing which simply can be corrected here if can play their best quality.
Reading meanwhile were clinical in their win over Coventry even though they found their winning goal from a set piece, rather than open play but I am expecting them to come out and look to continue their resurgence into play-off contention.
Now if both teams turn up and bring their attacking edge with much better finishing, I definitely can see goals and a score draw might well be the best bet.
Prediction: Birmingham City 1-1 Reading
Result: Birmingham City 3-2 Reading