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Birmingham City FC vs. Manchester City FC

St Andrews

28th March 2008

3pm

Birmingham City v MCFC

This match could be a very defining moment for both sides as City have nearly a full squad to pick from in a very long time and although they only picked up one point last week; they did not lose ground on the all important sixth place in the league.Birmingham on an even worse run than ourselves of one win in twelve league matches need to start winning to avoid dropping into the championship at the end of the season.

The question now for City and Sven now that he has such riches in the squad and substitute Elano showed a lot more against Bolton last week; who will be the starting eleven.

Vital Quotes:

Sven talks about Alex McCleish: "I think he`s a very good manager.

"I don`t know him very well, but I met him the other day at a League Manager`s Association meeting and I think he`s doing a good job."

Sven then talks about facing relegation teams: "It`s just the way it is and you don`t know anything about that when the fixtures come out.

"It means it`s another very, very difficult game, Birmingham are fighting for their lives, as were Bolton. It`ll be another battle and we have to be prepared again.

"When you play in the Premier League or any other top league in Europe you have to be prepared for everything - bad weather, different styles of football, many more times you have to battle than play wonderful football. That is football today."

Birmingham City FC Team News:

Martin Taylor could return to the side for the first time since his infamous tackle on Eduardo da Silva after completing a three-match suspension.

He is likely to slot in at centre-back in place of Liam Ridgewell, who begins his own two-game ban after collecting a tenth yellow card of the season. Franck Queudrue and Rafael Schmitz are also in a position to replace him.

James McFadden is closing in on a quick return to action following knee surgery but will not be considered until the next game against Wigan at the earliest.

Olivier Kapo could feature following a hamstring problem, while Mauro Zarate will be hoping to keep his place after netting his first goal for the club against Reading.

Player to watch: Mikael Forsell

Now he is getting back to fitness; he can be a real handful in and around the box and has scored against City in the past.

Manchester City FC Team News:

Elano and Felipe Caicedo both came on as substitutes against The Trotters and may be promoted to the starting line-up, while Emile Mpenza is also in contention after turning down the chance to drop down to the Championship on loan.

Eriksson will welcome Dietmar Hamann back from suspension and young midfielder Michael Johnson should also be fit despite having a chest infection this week.

Micah Richards and Michael Ball both remain sidelined with knee injuries along with Valeri Bojinov.

Player to watch: Martin Petrov

After three weeks on the sidelines Martin has played two games inside five days and should he start will be playing his third in eight days and that should make him really sharp.

Match Facts & Stats

City have won the last four premiership encounters between the two teams and should City complete a consecutive double over Birmingham it will be their sixtieth victory over England's central City club.

Ref Watch:

Rob Styles - the man is clearly a very poor referee and yet he continues to prowl the premiership. He loves to brandish City players with red cards and his ability to be blatantly bloody minded on issues he clearly has got wrong in the past only serves to all football supporters to wonder how Keith Hackett keeps him where he is.

Match Prediction:

Birmingham will be strong at home; but City have the Indian sign over them and I cannot see that sign being given the boot tomorrow. A narrow victory: BCFC 0 - 1 MCFC.

Next Fixtures:

Chelsea at home on Saturday 5th April with a 3pm kick off - yes you did read right - a 3pm home Saturday match!!!




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The journalist

Writer: Gavin Cooper  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday March 28 2008

Time: 7:42PM

Your Comments

Blimey, that'll be three Saturday 3pm kick offs on the bounce!
Johnny Baguette
Who will Rob Styles send off tomorrow ???
alphieblues
I feel a penalty coming on!
Johnny Baguette
Ah well Rob Styles lived up to his reputation.
alphieblues
That was a bad, bad defeat. The commitment is increasingly lacking. Questionable team selection and formation yet again. A gift for Brum. At least we got that penalty.
Johnny Baguette
Congratulations JB, I have read your words before ten minutes of the penalty, But today, I remembered the alphie words, When I saw Dabo Bianchi & Samras, Providing good level with they new teams, Why they dont provid a same performance when they play in Manchester City !!!
city 81
Glad to see that Sven is annoyed with the result and the way we played. Perhaps he will make some big changes and give the likes of Sturridge, Geovanni, Castillo and Bojinov a longer run in the team.
alphieblues
Whats goning on fellas .. you're falling apart.
Chix
Falling apart? They're 9th. Where were they last year? This is progress. You don't just suddenly go from relegation battles to Europe. Sven is building a team and it takes time. He has brought in quality and will be able to build on it again next year.
The_Legend_Of_Zola
I just think its end of season blues (forgive the pun) the other teams we have met wanted ot more than we did. we all have them spurs whu villa blackburn. We usually at this time of the season desparately hoping for a win and this is not the case this time round. 10th place minimum is a brilliant season and more to come in the new campaign. We may be in the intertoto but don't know how many clubs get into that.
Buzz Lightyear
Where was Petrov on Saturday ???
alphieblues
Rob Styles - You're a feckin joke!
Boro 01
seriously wat is going on with us we couldn beat birmingham they destroyed us and we have chelsea this weekend things are not looking good for us seriously. The signings we signed are just not able for the premier league
dunne deal
 

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