Swansea v Birmingham Tuesday January 29, 19:45 Live on Sky Sports
Swansea hitting form
A Bersant Celina screamer and two goals from Oli McBurnie helped Swansea to a cushy 4-1 FA Cup success over Gillingham on Saturday. Barrie McKay - making his first start since Christmas - was also on the scoresheet as the Welsh club booked their place in the 16 of the FA Cup in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1964/65.
Swans boss Graham Potter made four changes to the team that overcame high-flying Sheffield United here 1-0 seven days earlier an the Championship showed their class to cruise into a comfortable half-time advantage. Swansea eased off in the final 20 minutes but still managed to fire in nine on-target attempts during their convincing win.
Injured defender Joe Rodon was replaced by Cameron Carter-Vickers into the heart of defence alongside Mike van der Hoorn as expected. However, Kyle Naughton missed out with a knee problem and is doubtful here, along with Wayne Routledge. Connor Roberts looks likely to remain at right-back with Declan John on the opposite flank.
Birmingham bidding for overdue win
Birmingham enjoyed a weekend off as Garry Monk's men plot a way back into the play-off race. The Blues have slipped seven points off the top-six following defeats in back-to-back games against promotion-chasing Norwich and Middlesbrough, leaving the Second City with only two triumphs to their name in eight Championship outings (W2-D3-L3).
Birmingham's most recent match saw the Blues go down 3-1 at Carrow Road. All four of the goals arrived in 12 first-half minutes as Che Adams levelled proceedings after Monk's troops fell behind, only for Norwich to power past City thereafter. Despite staying competitive after the interval, Birmingham rarely threatened to overturn the deficit.
Post-match Monk admitted his Blues were second-best, suggesting the display was "uncharacteristic". The former Swansea manager will be hoping for an improved effort this midweek with new signing Kerim Mrabti in the fray for a debut. Elsewhere, Isaac Vassell is being eased back into the fold but Omar Bogle, David Davis and Marc Roberts remain out.
Swansea2.18 have lost each of their last three home league meetings with Birmingham but the Welsh side arrive with their tails up. Since the start of December, the Swans have returned W4-D2-L2, whilst eight of their 11 league victories since returning to this level have come against clubs currently below them in the Championship standings.
Birmingham3.80 have won just once against top-half teams this term (W1-D7-L6) and have claimed only four triumphs in 13 since October. However, the Blues are well matched with Swansea across a range of performance data metrics and the high draw nature of the two teams makes the stalemate an appealing 3.40 play here.
Both sides can oblige
The best bet might just arrive in the Both Teams To Score market where 'Yes' can be backed at 1.92. Swansea have only twice failed to score since October's international break, recording just three clean sheets in the same sample - unsurprisingly, 11 of those 15 fixtures paid out for BTTS backers.
Meanwhile, 10 of Birmingham's 14 meetings with top-half teams have seen both sides score, as well as eight of 11 trips to teams in 18th and above. The Blues have scored in all bar two of their Championship encounters since mid-September and have only twice silenced a top-half team in 2018/19.
Mark O’Haire says: back Both Teams To Score @ 1.92 in Swansea v Birmingham