Pundit backs Birmingham City to put the brakes on Aston Villa

Former Leeds United midfielder David Prutton believes Birmingham City can dent Aston Villa’s promotion hopes this weekend.

Villa have won six in a row in the Championship and are just a point behind second-placed Derby County, while Birmingham have lost just one of their last six league games and they can be expected to make things difficult for their local rivals on Sunday.

Prutton has tipped Scott Hogan to score first for Villa, but he thinks the visitors will battle back to secure a 1-1 draw (25/1 with Sky Bet).

“Now this game has come at a very interesting time,” Prutton told Sky Sports.

The first Second City derby of the season was a bit of a non-event and both teams appeared happy just to not lose.

But it’s a little bit different now with Aston Villa going full tilt for automatic promotion.

“Birmingham have been on a great run lately to haul themselves away from the drop zone, and there’s no doubt that Steve Cotterill would be delighted with a point at Villa Park.”

City have certainly improved under Cotterill, but their recent record against Villa isn’t good.

The Blues have won just one of their last 13 meetings with Villa in all competitions and the 8/11 on offer for a home victory looks a solid wager.

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