Full Review of Tonights Opponents

Birmingham City Football Club

Home: St. Andrews

Capacity: 30,009

Nickname: The Blues

Rivals: Aston Villa

Mixed emotions at the end of last season saw Birmingham relegated on the final day of the campaign with Wolverhampton Wanders finishing a point above, while only a couple of months before the Blues were celebrating a famous win in the Carling Cup final against Arsenal.  The summer saw a change of manager with former Newcastle boss Chris Hughton replacing Alex McLeish who left to take charge of bitter rivals Aston Villa.  With the likes of Roger Johnson, Sebastian Larsson, Craig Gardner, Cameron Jerome and Barry Ferguson  leaving, Hughton had to make as many as 10 signings and seen Birmingham complete in 4 competitions including the Europa League where they came 3rd in there group, missing out on the knock-out stages by 2 points.  Despite the big changes to the squad and the extra fixtures, Hughton’s men are still in the running for a place in the play-offs.  But the recent decline in form could be coming at the wrong time could see them miss out on an immediate return to the premiership. 

This Seasons Top Scorers

King                            14

Wood                          11

Burke                         10

The Last 6

Home

W

D

W

D

L

D

Away

W

W

W

D

L

L

 

Last Time Out

Team: Cardiff City (H)

Result: 1 – 1

Scores: Huseklepp (68) – Hudson (78)

3 to Watch

Player name: Marlon King

Date of birth: 26 Apr 1980

Nationality: English

Position: Striker

Squad number: 9

Signed in the summer on a free transfer from Coventry City were he scored 13 times in 29 games to help them secure the status in the Championship.  The Jamaican international bagged 22 goals back in the 2005/06 season to help Watford get into the play-offs and beat Leeds United at the Millennium Stadium to gain promotion to the premiership.  Unfortunately for the striker and Watford, he spent most of there premiership campaign on the sidelines with injury.  King has had 2 spells in the top division with Hull City and Wigan Athletic before joining Coventry in 2010.  This season has seen him continue to find the net for his 10th club scoring 12 times in the league, 2 of them coming against Rovers in the reverse fixture back in December.

 

This Season

 

Apps

As sub

Goals

Yellow

Red

Total

40

8

14

2

0

League

33

3

12

2

0

FA Cup

1

1

0

0

0

League Cup

1

1

0

0

0

Europa League

5

3

2

0

0

 

Player name: Chris Burke

Date of Birth: 2 Dec 1983

Nationality: Scottish

Position: Midfielder

Squad number: 7

Another summer arrival not to cost Birmingham a penny was Scotland international Chris Burke who was signed from Cardiff City were he made 82 appearances scoring 15 goals.  Scoring 2 goals in 2 appearances for his country, Burke started out at Rangers as a youth player were he won an SPL title and a Scottish League Cup in his 9 years at Ibrox scoring 13 in 85 games before moving to south Wales in 2009.  A willing runner down the right flank, Burke is a good crosser of the ball and shown his season to be a useful source of goals equalling a season best with 10 so far this campaign.

 

This Season

 

Apps

As sub

Goals

Yellow

Red

Total

51

6

10

5

0

League

38

0

9

4

0

FA Cup

4

3

0

0

0

League Cup

1

0

0

0

0

Europa League

8

3

1

1

0

 

Player name: Nathan Redmond 

Date of Birth: 6 Mar 1994

Nationality: English

Position: Midfielder

Squad number: 22

Coming though the youth ranks at the Blues academy Redmond is coming a fan favourite with his lighting pace and quick feet.  Redmond made his first team debut back in August 2010 in the league cup against Rochdale, this coming after the young winger played for Birmingham’s under 18’s at just 14 years old.  He’s also played for the England under 16’s and 17’s, with his continued rise and attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal time will tell about how long the Blues can keep hold of 1 of there prised assets.

 

This Season

 

Apps

As sub

Goals

Yellow

Red

Total

30

16

6

1

0

League

19

15

4

1

0

FA Cup

5

1

1

0

0

League Cup

1

0

0

0

0

Europa League

5

1

1

0

0

 

Predictions

Ian Streets' Prediction: Rovers 1 – 2 Birmingham

Editors' Prediction: Rovers 2-1 Birmingham