As Birmingham City prepare for their trip to Blackpool, football statistics website WhoScored.com
has previewed the Championship clash between the two sides.
The Tangerines are on a worrying run of form of late having failed to win any of their last 14 league matches, and losing 10 in the process. In contrast, Blues have won five of their last eight Championship encounters on the road, while the 20 points they’ve secured away from home this term is bettered only by five teams in the whole of England’s second tier.
With Blackpool having conceded in each of their last six games at Bloomfield Road, the visiting side will be confident of finding the net on Saturday, with Nikola Zigic, in particular, tipped to impress. The powerful Serb has netted four times in the Championship this season, three of which have come away from home, and he will be hopeful of gaining a start following his substitute appearance last time out.
Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Zigic’s game is his heading ability, with the 33-year-old developing a WhoScored.com
strength of ‘aerial duels’. He’ll be expected to utilise this weapon against a Blackpool side that has gained a statistically calculated weakness of ‘avoiding fouling in dangerous areas’.
Should the hosts bring down their opponents in their visitors' attacking third, Blues will likely look to the height of Zigic to trouble the Blackpool backline, be it through going for goal himself or providing for his teammates. The striker has developed a style of play of ‘likes to do flick ons’ and the likes of Lee Novak and Chris Burke will hope to find a way in behind the hosts’ backline, and it’s possible that the striker can add to his assist tally.
Even when under the cosh, Zigic is able to help alleviate pressure on the backline with his ‘defensive contribution’ another of his strengths. His height will be of great assistance when Blackpool are attacking, especially should they look to utilise their strength of ‘attacking set pieces’.
Barry Ferguson’s side have netted just three goals in their last six home league games and if they’re presented with the opportunity to launch the ball into the 18-yard box, Zigic’s aerial ability will help repel the danger and increase the likelihood of Blues recording a clean sheet. Coupled with his goalscoring capability on the road, the frontman will likely play a crucial role at both ends of the pitch as Birmingham aim to continue their fine away form.
*This article is not the view of Birmingham City Football Club but WhoScored.com, a unique website specialising in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data. Provided with unique stats, they compile and create comprehensive analysis on the major European divisions, including live match stats and player ratings. Follow @WhoScored and their editorial assistant @BenMcAleer1 on Twitter.