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Birmingham City v Reading FC: 3 Things To Look Out For

Our stats desk have been hard at work once again, here they look at three areas to watch out for in today's game at Birmingham.

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1. How's the form?

Birmingham have been dire all season, but since the departure of Lee Clark there has been a decent uptick in form. Birmingham now sit seventh in the Championship form table, with Reading down in thirteenth. 3 wins in 5 for Birmingham means that they come to Madejski with a degree of form behind them, but Reading's 2 in 5 does not lag much behind. The wind is not totally in the sails of either team here, so expect a nervous, cagey affair.

2. Possession Game

Birmingham have the second lowest possession stats in the Championship, with an average of 45.8% per game. Reading have not held spectacular possession but are at least over 50% on average, so this is a game where we can expect Reading to take a significant foothold in terms of possession. Unfortunately, we have not been great at taking advantage of such situations this season (the 1-0 defeat at Charlton comes to mind with its infamous "35 crosses"), so this game is a big chance for Reading to prove that can score outside of the counter-attack.

3. Turning Up for the Big Games

Neil Adams' comments about us after the Norwich game may lead me to question this, but I still think Reading can be rightly considered a ‘big' Championship team. Consistent top-end performers, even if we're going through a mediocre season right now we're still a well-recognised and fairly well-respected unit. That should worry us against Birmingham. Their uptick in form has come against some of the big dogs of this league, with wins at Watford and Forest, and draws against Wolves and Cardiff coming in their last 5 games. Contrast this to their loss last week against Blackpool, and we have a team that turns up for the bigger games. Are Reading a ‘big team' anymore? If they are, then we have good reason to be worried about facing them in their current form.