By James Jackson @ 2020-09-10 17:14:17
Match day one of the 2020/21 EFL Championship season includes a clash between Birmingham and Brentford at St Andrew’s on Saturday 12th September 12:30pm. With both teams finishing last season’s campaign at opposite ends of the table, surely goals are a given?
Birmingham will want to improve on their disappointing 20th place finish last season having narrowly escaped relegation by 2 points. They’ll want to begin building momentum with the hope to return to their glory days back in the Premier League following their fall from the top tier in 2011. Birmingham’s impressive run in the FA cup last season proves they still have the quality and fight to progress. Newly signed Spanish goalkeeper Andres Prieto makes his debut against Brentford having signed from Espanyol this summer. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to the style of football in the EFL Championship. Another exciting new addition, from Spanish club Elche. is winger Ivan Sanchez. The 27-year-old looks to be a versatile attacking midfielder who can inject urgency into Birmingham’s attacking play.
In contrast, we expect Brentford to come out of the blocks swinging after narrowly missing out on promotion to the Premier League last season. Having sailed past Swansea in the semi-finals, Fulham proved just too much to handle in the play-off final. Also, fresh off the back of a 1st round Carabao Cup victory, seeing off Wycombe, will give the Bees a lot of confidence and momentum coming into the fixture. Something remaining to be seen is how the departure of star player Ollie Watkins will impact the club. The striker was recently sold to Aston Villa for a club record £28m! Watkins was the EFL Championship’s joint top-scorer last season with 26 goals. That’s a lot goals to replace and will require the transfer fee to to be invested wisely. Forward Ivan Toney comes in to help strengthen the attack having signed from Peterborough. He enjoyed 24 goals last season, however that was in League One.
The Brentford goalkeeper, Daniels. has been in fine form, recently the penalty saving hero in the Carabao Cup and will hope he can keep the goals conceded to a minimum. However, with both teams frequently involved in high scoring games and this fixture averaging 2.2 goals per game, we are predicting both teams to score.
The previous meeting between these two clubs was back in February 2020 and ended in a 1-1 draw thanks to early goals from Jutkiewicz (Birmingham) and the in-form Pinnock (Brentford). In general, the history between these two clubs has been very even, with 3 of the last 5 fixtures in the Championship ending in a draw. Having said that, considering recent events combined with the current form of the two sides, we are predicting an away win for Brentford.
With the game being played behind closed doors without the added support of the vocal Birmingham City supporters, Brentford go into this fixture the favourites. Both teams will be in the learning stage having seen a number of entrances and exits over the summer break.