Toral a tasty bet to strike again for Birmingham in Midlands Derby
Jon Toral enjoyed a great spell with Brentford last term, and the on-loan Arsenal midfielder has started the new campaign in fine fettle for Birmingham City. The Spaniard joined the Blues for the season from the Gunners at the end of July and has since got two goals in two Championship outings already. He’s 7/2 with Coral to add to his tally anytime here.
Reus-born schemer Toral has trodden a similar route to many Spanish youngsters, heading to north London after being schooled at Barcelona. He will look to Francis Coquelin, who returned from Charlton Athletic and went straight into the first team at the Emirates, as inspiration. A goalscoring midfielder is a rare luxury, and Toral could reward backers with his hefty price of 10/1 to break the deadlock against Derby County.
The Rams have made an uneventful start to proceedings after a summer of investment and hype at Pride Park. Paul Clement came in from Real Madrid to replace Steve McClaren and he was backed with no less than £10m in the transfer market, bringing in the likes of Thomas Ince, Alex Pearce, Jason Shackell and Andreas Weimann.
Nevertheless, County, 11/8 to take three points here, have struggled to find their verve. A victory has so far eluded them and they suffered an embarrassing loss to League Two outfit Portsmouth in the Capital One Cup.
Despite not registering a win so far, Derby are yet to lose in the league, grabbing three successive draws, and it’s 23/10 that the spoils are shared in the west Midlands on Friday evening. Not to be sniffed at when you consider three of the previous four meetings between these two have ended all-square.
There have been signs that the visitors are starting to click and their attacking options are some of the division’s most plentiful. Austria international Weimann will surely prove a major coup at this level. He is a creative force, as well as a goalscoring threat, and it was a surprise to see Aston Villa let him go this summer. Weimann looks the value to net first at 8/1 and appeals at 11/4 to notch anytime.
Birmingham will host Clement’s side unbeaten themselves, and are 21/10 outsiders. Victory over Reading and a gutsy performance at Burnley have seen Gary Rowett’s troops catch the eye and they could be a surprise package. Going forward, the Blues have been particularly good, scoring twice in all three of their matches so far, making the 8/5 price on them getting over 1.5 goals again look enticing.
Coral’s top tip: Birmingham are far too big a price to score more than one goal with their current form, so take 13/8 on them netting over 1.5.