Birmingham City vs Nottingham Forest – PreviewFeb 24th, 2012 | By Aylesburyblue | Category: Blues News, Lead Article, Matches
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.
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.
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.