By Danny Wright

Harry Redknapp has bizarrely claimed that Aston Villa will finish below Birmingham in the Championship standings this season.

The ex-Tottenham boss was sacked from his post at St. Andrew’s earlier this month after a poor start to the campaign which saw his side earn just one win one their opening eight league games.

And now, although Villa are one of the frontrunners for promotion to the Premier League this season, Redknapp has backed Birmingham to finish above them despite them currently sitting in the relegation zone, eight points adrift of their Second City rivals.

“I know there is a lot of Villa and West Brom fans who don’t like Birmingham, but I’ll tell you one thing, Birmingham will not be far away from making the play-offs this year,” he said, as quoted by the Birmingham Mail.

“They’ve got five of their best players not playing.

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“I think when Birmingham get everybody fit they’ll finish above Villa this year for sure.”

Aston Villa managed to get the better of Redknapp in his first game managing Birmingham last season when derby day specialist Gabby Agbonlahor scored the only goal in a 1-0 win.

Blues are still without a manager following Redknapp’s dismissal but temporary boss Lee Carsley led them to their second victory of the season on Wednesday with a shock 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Carsley’s men will hope to get a second win in a row against Hull on Saturday while Villa will no doubt want to continue their strong form when they face relegation contenders Bolton at home.

In other Aston Villa news, it has been confirmed that the Villains want to complete a January swoop for this top-flight 24-year-old.

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