This week’s Darkhorse Chronicles takes us back to the EFL Championship where we take a look at Birmingham City, a club that’s shown substantial improvement over last season. They finished last season in 19th place and so far they’ve made a substantial improvement this season where they reside in 10th.

Birmingham City’s last outing in the Premier League was in 2007-2008 although they were unable to stave off relegation. They were 1 point short of staying up, had they managed 1 more point it would have been Fulham sent down instead of them. Their goal difference was 6 better than Fulham, and stayed up on a 1-0 win over Portsmouth on the final Matchday.

If Birmingham are able to keep up this pace they’d finish with just over 66 points on the season, which would have had them in 11th place last season. This would be a nice change for the Blues, who have finish consecutive seasons in 19th place. This would also have them on pace for 57 goals and 49 concessions, finishing the season +8 on goal differential. If their end result is anywhere near our projections it’s a dramatic improvement. In 2016-2017, Birmingham scored 45 and conceded 64 for a goal differential of -19 which while not ideal by any means, was the better of the years. 2017-2018 had the scoring only 38 and conceding 68 for a goal differential of -30. They’ve done pretty well against the top teams in the league so far, with only a loss to Leeds United.

What changed? 

  • Kristian Pederson (Transfer, ~$3M from Union Berlin) — made 15 starts at Left back with 2 assists
  • Lee Camp (Free Transfer, from Cardiff) — has made 13 appearances with 11 concessions keeping 4 clean sheets.
  • Omar Bogle (loan from Cardiff) — he’s averaging just shy of 30′ but hasn’t scored or assisted.
  • Connor Mahoney (loan from AFC Bournemouth) — 9 appearances and a goal.
  • Gary Gardner (loan from Aston Villa) — making 13 starts and 14 appearances and 1 goal.
  • Charlie Larkin is a youth product making a move in the senior ranks. He’s made 6 appearances for about ~45′ although he hasn’t registered a goal or an assist yet.

Season Outlook:
I think that Birmingham will be able to keep it up for a while to go. The Blues have done a great job so far and have managed some decent results even amongst the best in the league. While I’m not sure they’ll finish at 11th, I think they will definitely have an improvement over their last couple seasons.

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