Birmingham City Vs Manchester City – Preview By Nat

Posted on March 29, 2008 
Filed Under Previews By Nat

I’m delighted to say that a popular and semi-sensible ‘nose (it’s the best I could do from the Joys & Sorrows forum) has agreed to take over doing the match previews, starting with the City preview today. Welcome Nat and thanks for your work.

Opposition: Manchester City
Competition: Premiership
Venue: St.Andrews

Stats/Form: City have won just two of their last ten in the league, whilst Blues will be looking to continue decent form at home under Alex McLeish. They have lost just once at St.Andrews since ‘Eck took over.

Since City got promoted from the Nationwide 2nd Division to 1st Division in May ‘99, they seem to have had a bit of a voodoo curse over Blues, with just two league wins out of a possible thirteen for Blues. City have won all of the other eleven encounters.

The last Blues win over City came in August ‘04 at St.Andrews, where an Emile Heskey header gave Blues all three points.

Last time out: 20/08/2005 Blues 1 (Butt) City 2 (Barton, Cole)

Memories: In the interest of having a balanced preview, I felt the need to have one good memory of playing Man City, and one bad one.

The bad one for me comes about a week before Christmas ‘05, the season we were finally relegated from the Premiership. A couple of thousand Bluenoses had gone up to Eastlands to see if Blues could notch up a fourth win of the season. What we were treated to was the second worst performance I have ever seen from a Blues side. To make matters worse for ‘Noses; this match, to bow down to the God that is television, kicked off at 5.20pm, meaning a whole day of Christmas shopping (or getting drunk) was gone. But anyway on to the match.

Nothing really to report until twenty seconds after kick-off, when Vassell went through on goal but was thwarted by Vaesen. From the resulting corner, an unmarked David Sommeil (I think I was closer to him than any Blues player, and I was about ten rows back in the away end), nodded home, meaning that one whole minute after kick-off we were 1-0 down. Fantastic.

Ten minutes later we conceded a penalty. Joey Barton stepped up; 2-0. On the stroke of half-time, just when things couldn’t get worse, they did. A long ball was punted up and Nico Vaesen came for it, completely missed it, leaving Sibierski with the chance of a lifetime. After half-time, we went 4-0 down through the best goal of the match from Bradley Wright-Phillips. Blues then scored through Jarosik, who did the one things football fans hate and kissed the badge in celebration. To then top it all off, Nico Vaesen, in what was to be his last league appearance for Blues, got himself sent-off, and because we had used our subs, Stephen Clemence took the gloves.

Final Score: City 4 (Sommeil, Barton, Sibierski, Wright-Phillips) Blues 1 (Jarosik)

The good memory comes in the last days of 2003. City went 1-0 up through Robbie Fowler, but Blues hit back midway through the second half through the unlikely goalscoring hero Jeff Kenna. With three minutes to go, a free-kick was flung in, Richard Dunne tried to clear, but his hoof hit the knee of Mikael Forssell, cue mass jubilation all around St.Andrews.

Final Score: Blues 2 (Kenna, Forssell) City 1 (Fowler)

Team news: Ridgewell is suspended and Kapo isn’t match fit for Blues whilst McFadden is also out. City have Dietmar Hamman and Michael Johnson back from suspension and a chest injury respectively, but defenders Micah Richards and Michael Ball are both out.

Pre Match articles:

City key man: Elano

Elano was the creative pivot City built their tremendous early form on. Since he came from Shaktar Dontesk in the Summer he has wowed crowds all over with his skill and vision, making him a hero with the City faithful. It is also noticeable that, since Elano’s form has tailed off, City’s has nosedived with it. Combine this with the fact that he score the winning goal when we went to Eastlands earlier in the season, he most definately stands out as the potent threat to be watched today.

How will the match turn out?

We will of course, have to show respect to the threat that City hold, however I think the fact that we need the win desperately whilst City aren’t really playing for anything but pride now should swing it our favour. A close game but Blues to shade it.

Prediction: Blues 3 City 2

Ladbrokes Odds: Blues 5/4 City 7/4 Draw 11/

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