Birmingham City v Middlesbrough – Preview

Nov 29th, 2012 | By | Category: Blues News, Lead Article, Matches

Team News

Blues will give late checks to Hayden Mullins (Groin) and Robert Hall (Illness) and Paul Caddis may not be able to play twice in four days after such a long time out.

Middlesbrough have Jonathan Woodgate, Faris Haroun and George Freind out and Grant Leadbetter is doubtful.

Last Meeting

The sides last met in March with the game ending in a comfortable 3-0 win for Blues. Keith Fahey added to earlier goals by Zigic and King with a fine effort which started in his own half.

Recent Form

Blues are stuck down in 19th having won only one of their last six games. They have won only three of their nine home games this season.

Boro moved up to 3rd with a 3-0 victory over Huddersfield on Tuesday which broke a run of two straight defeats. They have a symmetrical record of four wins and four defeats on their travels.

Outlook

So still fresh from the blow that Carson Yeung’s trial has been delayed again Blues are already getting ready for another game only three days after the last one. The trial postponement is a kick in the teeth for those of us who hoped that this mess would be finally sorted and the club could start to move forward. Some have said that this may mean that the takeover happens more quickly and I really hope that this is the case. Either that or they just close the club down and put us out of our misery.  I suppose we just need to focus on matters on the pitch for now.

Middlesbrough at home is a game we always win. In fact Blues have won five of the last six meetings at St Andrews mostly by more than one goal. I’m not saying that’s likely to happen this time though because firstly it’s live on Sky (When we always struggle) and secondly Boro are doing a lot better than us at the moment. Tony Mowbray’s return has coincided in a revival which has them looking at a return to the Premier League after a three year gap. They are a great advert for investing in youth as a good number of their squad has come through their academy. They are reaping the rewards of taking a long term approach which is something that has been missing at St Andrews for a long time.

Lee Clark’s team selection against Blackpool raised a few eyebrows but I have to commend him on replacing Steven Caldwell who has struggled of late. Blackpool were reduced to a lot less chances than we usually allow as we generally kept it tight. It was also good to see Paul Caddis back and what a refreshing change it was to see us actually score from a corner! On the minus side Nathan Redmond’s absence suggested problems behind the scenes that has led some to suggest that he will be sold in January. If the takeover stalls then I can see him not being the only one. In midfield I would like to see Chris Burke back in the starting line up with Zigic returning up front. Whatever the line-up we need to keep possession better than in previous games. If we can do that I see no reason why the winning run against Boro can’t continue.

My Prediction

Blues 2 Middlesbrough 1

C’mon you Blue Boys!

 

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