Birmingham City vs Millwall – Preview

Apr 5th, 2013 | By | Category: Blues News, Lead Article, Matches

Team news

It has been announced that Keith Fahey will miss the rest of the season and that Chris Burke is not fit to return tomorrow.

Millwall winger James Henry hopes to be fit for the FA Cup semi final but won’t be available to face us.

Reverse fixture

A Marlon King hat trick helped Blues come back from 3-0 down to get a draw at the New Den. Millwall had scored all their goals in a seven minute first half spell with two of the goals scored by ex-Blue Chris Wood.

Recent Form

Monday’s defeat to Wolves broke a run of three straight wins for Blues who dropped to eleventh.

Millwall are fifteenth, one point behind but with two games in hand. They have won two of their last three games, both away from home. Over the whole season they have gained more points on their travels than they have at home.

Outlook

Easter turned out to be a mixed bag with probably our best away performance in years followed by the disappointment of losing to Wolves on Monday. We should know by now that we do our best comebacks from two goals down so really shouldn’t have conceded that third goal which was the sloppiest of the lot. The second half performance was encouraging though and we could even have won the game if Wes “The new Cameron Jerome” Thomas had got his shooting boots on. We created many more chances than we did on Friday but it’s putting them away that matters. At least we regained some pride as at half time it was looking like it could be another Watford or Barnsley.

The win at Palace had already pushed us past my target of fifty points for survival but it’s already looking like that won’t be enough. This year someone could go down with as many as fifty-five points and nobody below ninth has already reached that figure. The defeat on Monday finally killed off our slim playoff chances but our opponents tomorrow are still in with a shot as they have two games in hand on everybody above them. They have a decent away record as well so they won’t fear coming to St Andrews. At least Chris Wood no longer plays for them although they will have Maik Taylor on the bench. I hope he gets a nice reception when his name is called out before the match. He was always a good servant to our club. One hope is that they will be distracted by their upcoming FA Cup semi-final but we can’t take that for granted as they still have things to play for in the league.

If we are to get back to winning ways we do need to start taking our chances and stiffen up in midfield. I thought that Wolves were able to boss us around in the middle of the park and seemed to want it more. This put pressure on the defence and allowed their players to have too much time to cross and shoot. It also didn’t help that Jack Butland had one of his poorest games for us. I do expect the players to bounce back from this as they often do. Our worst defeats this season have always been followed by a win. Whether Lee Clark chooses to make any changes or not will mostly depend on the fitness of those who missed the Easter fixtures.  I’d give Thomas and Zigic another game up front together as Monday may just have been an off day. I wouldn’t mind seeing Koby Arthur getting another run out late on as he did look quite good in his short appearance on Monday.

With FA Cup distractions and Blues’ bounce back ability in mind I’m feeling fairly confident about this one.

My prediction

Blues 2 Millwall 1

C’mon you Blue Boys.

 

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