Last Updated: 09/02/18 11:42am
The form of Aston Villa and Birmingham makes the Second City derby incredibly tough to predict, according to Don Goodman.
Villa and Birmingham may be at different ends of the table in the Sky Bet Championship, but both head into Sunday’s clash – live on Sky Sports -on the back of an excellent run of results.
LISTEN: EFL Matters podcast
Presenter David Prutton is joined by Mark Warburton and Don Goodman on the EFL Matters podcast.
Speaking on EFL Matters on Thursday, Goodman said: “If we were looking at this game a few weeks ago it would be a no-brainer to say that Aston Villa should be winning, but Steve Cotterill has really got Birmingham at it in the last couple of weeks and it will be much more of a test.
“Obviously Aston Villa are at home and on a fantastic run of form, and they’ve started beating the teams around them as well for the first time this season, with the Bristol City and Middlesbrough results springing to mind.
“But why should we be surprised? Any team that Steve Bruce takes over in the Championship will end up near the top.”
Goodman and presenter David Prutton were joined on the show by former Nottingham Forest manager Mark Warburton, who believes that both Steve Bruce and Cotterill are benefiting from being given enough time by the clubs to do their jobs.
VOTE: EFL Goals of the Month
WATCH & VOTE for your EFL Goals of the Month for January in the Championship, League One and League Two here…
“It’s the one commodity every manager wants,” said Warburton. “We looked last year and at one point the bottom four were Bristol City, Cardiff, Wolves and Ipswich, then just before Christmas those guys were in the top six.
“I understand the frustration and expectations but Bruce is showing what you can do if you have that time to bed in players and get the crowd onside. They’re now playing high quality football and they’re in a really strong position.”
While Goodman agreed, adding: “With time on the training ground you have to be able to mould them into what you want.
“Tactics are a massive part of winning games and slowly but surely the fruits of Steve Cotterill’s labour and hard work along with that of the Birmingham players are coming together.
“We’ve got a great game on our hands.”