Blues hope to welcome back Callum Reilly and Hayden Mullins but Jonathan Spector will miss out again.
Brighton have no reported new injury worries.
A lovely late summer’s day ended with Blues securing a surprise 1-0 win through a goal by Chris Burke. I say surprise because it was just seven days after they lost 5-0 to Barnsley.
Blues are twentieth; five points clear of the danger zone. They have won just once in six and their last home win was at the end of November.
Brighton have won their last two games which ended a five game winless run. They are now eighth and have won as many games away as they have at home.
So we are out of the cup and can concentrate on the weekly grind that is our relegation fight. While I don’t expect we would have beaten Spurs the extra revenue would have come in very handy and the match would have been a nice distraction from our league troubles. As it is it’s back to league action with the visit of Brighton and Hove Albion a side in that select club of teams we’ve actually beaten this season. We can’t read too much into that smash and grab raid in September though. Brighton are a team that have recovered from a sticky patch and who will be looking to finish in the playoffs come May. Assuming Chelsea don’t sack Rafa and pinch Gus Poyet that is.
By all accounts we haven’t being playing that badly in recent games and have been unlucky not to have more points. We seem to be unable to get that second goal which would finish teams off and as we can’t keep a clean sheet draws and narrow defeats are all we can get. A return to full fitness and form of Marlon King would help a lot especially as other players are starting to return as well. The experiment with Redmond and Morrison should probably end now with Zigic also returning. I have come to the opinion that if we really can’t find anyone to sell him to then we should play the big lump as often as possible.
Hopefully the worst of our injury crisis is behind us and we can make a start on securing enough points to keep us up. I reckon five wins and five draws from our remaining nineteen fixture would just about do it. We seem to have been marooned just above the drop zone for months but the next six weeks sees a lot of games against sides around and just above us and is a crucial period. By the end of February we could find that we are no longer talking about relegation, or that it is all we are talking about. It’ll be nice to be able to start enjoying football matches again. Nowadays the only time I get to laugh and smile during a game is when the Villa are playing. It’s a tough fixture tomorrow but if we can keep up the promising signs of recent weeks I can see no reason why we can’t get something from it.
Blues 1 Brighton 1
C’mon you Blue Boys!