Tip Coventry City - Birmingham
Coventry City host Birmingham City in the FA Cup fourth round this weekend. The clash is one between two lower-league sides enjoying contrastingly different fortunes this season. While Birmingham are a tier higher in the Championship, their status in that division is under threat. Floundering in the bottom half of the table, the Blues are 18th in the table, ten points clear of the drop. They are enjoying one of their better runs of the season right, going four games unbeaten in all competitions. As fans of the rumour mill will tell you, the most notable thing about this Birmingham season has been the emergence of Jude Bellingham. A target for Man United and other esteemed clubs, the 16-year-old has become a mainstay in Birmingham's midfield. Only striker Lukas Jutkiewics, fourteen years Bellingham's senior, has more goals (10) than the teenager's tally of four.
One division further down, Coventry are contending for a promotion place. The Sky Blues are fourth in a tight League One race for the second tier (only seven points separating first and eighth place). They are unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions. However, the level of opposition has to be taken into account. Coventry have only played one higher-division opponent this season and it resulted in a tonking at the hands of Watford. Their cup record in recent seasons is poor; we don't see that changing against a Birmingham side better than their league position would indicate. (A six-game winless run that went through December into January included one 5-4 and two 3-2 defeats.) Given that they will also be playing this 'away game' at St. Andrews (against their tenants), we foresee a victory for the familiar visitors.
Key points Coventry City - Birmingham
Birmingham are unbeaten in four matches in all competitions.
Coventry are unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions.
Although Coventry City are the home team, they are renting the stadium from Birmingham City this season.
Conclusion Coventry City - Birmingham
Coventry will have more fans in the stadium than Birmingham but the visitors should still be more comfortable with their surroundings. We don't think that Coventry will spoil their home life with work trivialities (like the FA Cup). Expect Birmingham to remind their guests of why they are the kings of the castle. Back a Birmingham win.
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Coventry City Birmingham Prediction published on January 22, 2020