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Ian Holloway's men travel to St Andrew's a goal up from the first leg. But Adam Bate thinks Chris Hughton's side will be the ones to progress to the Wembley final to face West Ham

Birmingham host Blackpool in the second leg of their Championship play-off semi-final with the tie intriguingly poised.

The Tangerines have a one-goal advantage from the first encounter in a game they dominated and they could view that as an opportunity wasted given Birmingham’s impressive home record.

The Blues have lost just once in their own patch in the league season and won this corresponding fixture 3-0 on New Year’s Eve.

Chris Hughton’s men are 10/11 (1.91) with Paddy Power to win this one on the night and 5/4 (2.25) to advance.

That price to progress is the bet of the day in this one given that there is no away-goals rule here.

In Blackpool’s favour is the fact that despite Birmingham having lost just once in front of their own fans, there have been nine drawn games.

That’s enough for Ian Holloway’s men – the draw is available at 5/2 (3.5) with Paddy Power.

But it’s highly unlikely Blackpool will play for the draw. It’s simply not in their nature. Only two Championship teams have scored more than the Seasiders away from home this season.

So they are well capable of coming out in an attacking mood and winning this tie on the night.

A Blackpool win on the night is available at 3/1 (4.0) while they are 4/7 (1.57) with Paddy Power to progress to a Wembley final with West Ham.

The problem with Blackpool’s free-scoring away record is that it cuts both ways – only four teams have conceded as many as Holloway’s men on their travels.

You can back both teams to score here at 4/6 (1.67) with Paddy Power, while over 2.5 goals is available at 8/11 (1.73).

In the goalscorers market, Marlon King is the favourite to open the scoring. He netted in that 3-0 win at St Andrew’s earlier in the season and is a 9/2 (5.5) shot to score first in this one.

Meanwhile, Kevin Phillips will be the man Birmingham fans fear. The 38-year-old is 13/2 (7.5) to score the last goal of the night against his former club.

That’s a value bet pick for a player who has completed the scoring eight times this season. But on this occasion, the smart money suggests it would be no more than a consolation.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Birmingham to qualify at 5/4 (2.25) with Paddy Power
Kevin Phillips to score last at 13/2 (7.5) with Paddy Power

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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on Twitter

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