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Scouting Report: Birmingham City (Home)

The threats from the opposition facing Reading on the final day of the season.

West Bromwich Albion v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

The Royals’ season comes to an end this weekend as they take on Garry Monk’s Birmingham City. There is nothing riding on this game for either side, and it’s an opportunity for both sets of fans to appreciate the players after what has been a difficult season for both clubs. However, both teams would like to finish their season on a high and I’m sure it’ll be an interesting game all round.

Monk’s side likes to play the ball in the air, with lots of long balls and crosses being a major part of their style, which contrasts quite vastly to the Royals’, in which Jose Gomes’ side like to keep the ball on the deck as much as possible. Two contrasting styles normally makes for an interesting encounter and I’m sure this will be no different.

Che Adams and Lukas Jutkiewicz have been one of, if not the, most prolific strike partnership in the Championship this season with a combined total of 35 goals and 14 assists. The ‘big man, little man’ combination means that they can both fit into the simple, yet, effective 4-4-2 in which Monk sets his side up. Jutkiewicz fits the mould of the ‘big man’ because he is good at playing with his back to goal, and can create chances for players like the ‘little man’ Che Adams.

Birmingham City v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Another player that’s been a positive in the Birmingham season has been the Danish Kristian Pedersen. He arrived under controversial circumstances, but hasn’t let that get the better of him and has put in several good performances for the Blues. The left-back has been a mainstay in Monk’s side and has been a major factor in them keeping 11 clean sheets this season.

He averages 2.74 interceptions per game, which shows just how good he is at breaking up play. To put this into context, Chelsea’s Jorginho and N’Golo Kante average 1.69 and 1.26 respectively.

Prediction

It’s time for my final prediction of the season. I’m going to go with 2-1 to the Royals. There is a real feel-good atmosphere around the Mad Stad now and I think the players will thrive on that and finish off the season with the three points. This would be really positive going into next season, and considerably better than how our last home game of last season went, which was so bad that no one stuck around for the lap of appreciation.