Birmingham City vs Nottingham Forest – Preview

Team News

New signing Erik Huseklepp is available to be included in the squad for this game.  Stephen Carr is still out and Nikola Zigic will be assessed, which probably means he won’t play.

Garath McCleary should be fit to play for Forest.

Reverse Fixture

The two sides met at the beginning of October with Blues securing their first away win for eight months. Forest had led at half time through an Ishmael Miller goal and it took until the 75th minute for Blues to wake up triggered by a great Chris Burke strike. Chris Wood then scored twice to secure a 3-1 victory.

Recent Form

Tuesday’s win at Barnsley was Blues fourth in six games. The unbeaten run in all competitions now stands at fifteen. (Kev published a blog on the subject earlier today).

Forest’s win over Coventry on Saturday was there first since 2nd January. They have won just four times on their travels scoring only twelve times in fourteen games.


I write this on the back of the news of the excellent loan signing of Erik Huseklepp from Portsmouth which will give a much needed boost to the squad for the final push for promotion. It does feel a little like profiting from misfortune as Portsmouth would have not let him go in other circumstances but we are not in a position to be choosy. I expect him to play out wide to start with but can also fill in up front. I’ve also heard rumours of other players joining in the next few days which will shake things up a bit and give Chris Hughton extra options.

The win at Barnsley was very welcome but this is no time to let the home form dip. This is the first of two straight home games against sides from the east (Derby next Saturday) neither of which have been in great from of late. Forest have also benefited from Portsmouth’s problems as the ten point deduction has moved them out of the bottom three. They had a good win over Coventry in last weekend’s relegation six pointer but they are having a poor season. At the City Ground in October we played poorly for seventy minutes but still came away with a comfortable win.  Their top scorers are Marcus Tudgay and American Robbie Findlay with just six each but they do have plenty of experience in the squad.

In most positions we have little choice but to continue with the same players that played well in midweek but the one place we do have options is central midfield. By all accounts Keith Fahey had an excellent game and it will be interesting to see who partners him. My first choice would be Guirane N’Daw followed closely by Jordon Mutch. If we are to continue with a five man midfield then both could play. With our available players a 4-3-3 formation could be worth a try with Burke and Huseklepp flanking Marlon King. Defensively I have no concerns other than the lack of cover at full back. With eight games in March we need the squad to keep fit and healthy as much as possible.

Blues should take the unbeaten run to sixteen tomorrow.  Let’s see if I can keep up my own much longer run of predicting the score wrongly.

Blues 2 Forest 0

C’mon you Blue Boys.


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3 Comments on Birmingham City vs Nottingham Forest – Preview

  1. Glad that you called out the excellent form of Keith Fahey. Seeing him on the box against Chelsea, he was brilliant including twice in their half, he feigned a pass that sent (seemed like) the whole Chelsea team the wrong way and stepped past their midfield.

  2. I have little sympathy for Portsmouth, going tits up twice and seemingly repeating past mistakes.There are a lot of clubs in financial difficulties due to no fault of their own and face harsher treatment than Portsmouth seem to get. I’m still annoyed that they were allowed to field players that hadn’t been paid or paid for in the F.A. cup 1/4 final against Blues.
    Now I have my grumpy old git moment over I’m hoping that we don’t trip up against a club lower in the league, it has cost us dearly before. I’m expecting a tight 1-0 win to Blues.

  3. Ted_Rex, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has grumpy old git moments!! I won’t be at St. Andrews to cheer the lads on but hope they play well and win, it’s what I could do with after getting the news that my brother lost his life last night after a battle with throat cancer.


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