Last Updated at 1:53 pm, January 16th 2011
YELLOW: Collins is unfashionable late on his challenge on Ferguson and he gets a booking for his troubles!
BLUES SUB: It's Derbyshire who makes way for Bowyer and it looks like McLeish is settling for a point!
BLUES SUB: Hleb is sacrificed for Zigic and Blues go more attacking in their formation.
VILLA SUBS: Bannan comes on for Reo-Coker, while Carew makes way for Delfouneso. So youth replaces experience!
YELLOW! Carr goes into the book after seemingly winning the ball in his challenge on Clark! Will this be costly?
Also, if you want to bet on the next goalscorer: Derbyshire 15/2 Gardner 9/1 Hleb 14/1
SKY BETare back in touch with the latest: Birmingham 11/5 Draw 5/4 Aston Villa 19/10
It seems you can't please some people as Dave emails in to say: "Most people would say you are doing a good job on commentating the Brum derby but not me...I'm trying to study for an exam. Make it seem boring so i can get some work done!"
YELLOW! Bentley leads Birmingham's first attack but he is recklessly taken out by Dunne who gets an early booking.
Rich from Solihull sends his thoughts: "After last season's finishes of 6th and 9th, It's killing me too currently see the Midlands teams in such disarray and in a relegation battle. As a Blue, I think we need a striker who'll give you 15 goals a season, as Cameron and Zigic just don't fit the bill. Anyway, I'm going 1-1: Johnson and Agbonlahor."
Chris is on the charm offensive as he writes: ''Hello Elliot, good morning to a great commentator! This is going to be an absolute cracker for us today, very tough to predict! I'm disappointed with Villa this season, they just haven't been at the races! While Birmingham have been OK but still not is what is expected of them! I don't understand why Downing is a striker in this match while he is really a winger, don't get it? I'm happy to see Derbyshire get a starting place, he is a good man and can be great at times! I'm also expecting Bentley to shine today as well, he is pacey, has decent delivery and can nick a goal at times! I'm backing Birmingham today and saying a 2-0 win will happen. I think Villa will have plenty of chances but will be very wasteful with them!''
Andy in Hull drops me a line: "I'm Villa and proud but this season we have been dreadful, too many insipid performances and unless we show some real backbone at St Andrews we will get rolled over. Blues are not free scorers but by the same score not easy to get past. Defensively they are very hard to break down. By contrast Villa's defence is one of the worst and unless we boss the midfield and keep possession they will cut through us. Walker is in for a baptism of fire and we will need our back 4 to be fully focused on their runners out wide. Surprised that Blues appear to be playing a lone frontman and not Jerome who must be injured, and with Zigic and Phillips on the bench. But given Villa's poor record on the road this season I can see at best a draw but if I was pushed for a winner I'd not bet against a home win and that isn't easy for someone to say who has followed Villa for more than 30 years. I really want a Villa win but I can't see how unless we start converting the chances we create during games. Come on Villa."
And speaking of Agbonlahor Martin, the England international has scored three goals in five league games against Birmingham, and also netted in this season's Carling Cup tie between the sides.
In response to Cian's comment, the last time Birmingham beat Aston Villa in the league, current Villan Emile Heskey was on the scoresheet for the Blues!
Martin from Cork lends his thoughts: "I'm really happy Houllier went with Carew today rather than play Gabby up top on his own. I just hope we play 4-4-2 rather than playing Gabby on the left where he is wasted."
Cian kicks off proceedings: "Hello, With David Bentley starting I think Birmingham will win 2-1 with Gardner and Fahey for Birmingham and Carew for Villa." A very precise prediction there!
Here's the match odds for today's clash: Birmingham 13/8 Draw 21/10 Aston Villa 15/8
SKY BET's Tom Davies emails in to say: "Were in the second city for the first of today's derbies and it's a game both sides will want to win. It looks like it'll be a tight game, with under 2.5 goals being backed at 8/13. Birmingham will take a defensive approach and the Blues can be backed at 13/2 to win 1-0. David Bentley could make his debut and is 14/1 to open the scoring. For Villa Agbonlahor is 7/1."
Fancy a bet on today's Midlands derby? Allow me to hand you over to our good friends SKY BET.
So I'm sure you are itching to let me know your thoughts ahead of today's Midlands derby. You can get in touch with me throughout today's coverage either at firstname.lastname@example.org or @ballell on Twitter.
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