Match Preview – Brighton v Birmingham City

birminghamhome2017

Birmingham City – the team
As far as replacing a manager mid season cock ups go, Birmingham’s efforts this season are up there with the best of them. The Blues looked like they could be a dark horse for a play off spot under Gary Rowett until he was quite incredibly replaced with Gianfranco Zola just before our pre-Christmas visit to St Andrews. Fast forward four months and they are in danger of getting dragged into the scrap for Championship survival having won just twice in 20 games under the former Chelsea legend. Makes Sami Hyypia’s appointment seem almost sensible in comparison.

Birmingham – the place
Birmingham is the countries second city. It is home to the best Christmas market the United Kingdom has to offer as we found out to our cost at the away game with seven hours of drinking German beer resulting in a horrific split in the trousers and very little memory of what happened other than that last minute Glenn Murray winner. If shopping – or walking around shopping centres checking out the hot women doing their shopping – is your sort of thing then the Bullring is one of the finest places you can hope to go. That is of course presuming you can understand anything that anybody there says to you given the strength of the Brummie accent.

Birmingham – the people
Lovers of chocolate will appreciate the fact that John Cadbury of Cadbury chocolate fame came from the city, as does Adrian Chiles, owner of one of the most slappable faces in England. Some of the members of UB40 also hail from Birmingham although given that they seem to change line ups more frequently than Southern guards and drivers go on strike, it is hard to keep up with which ones. We could be here all day really naming famous Brummie’s so we’ll finish with Felicity Jones, the ridiculously fit star of Rogue One.

A good WeAreBrighton.com memory of Birmingham at home
Birmingham were involved in one of the Amex’s highest scoring games when the Albion triumphed 4-3 against them in February 2015. Joao Teixeria and Inigo Calderon – on his 200th game for the club – both scored braces with Clatyon Donaldson, Wes Thomas and Lee Novak netting for the Blues. Given that shortly after we would embark on a month long run without a goal, this really was the feast before the famine to quote what sounds like a biblical turn of phrase.

A bad WeAreBrighton.com memory of Birmingham at home
Gus Poyet’s side had been flying at the start of the 2012/13 season but all that went to pot as Chris Burke gave Birmingham a 1-0 win in the final game of September. That of course set us up nicely for October when we were at the height of that run of five years without a win in the tenth month.

Familiar names
Tomasz Kuszczak is Birmingham’s current number one. He is now in his second season at St Andrews which must mean that both Rowett and Zola have kept their wives away from him. Allegedly. Midfielder David Davis has played 35 times which would explain why Brexit is so far looking like a bit of a cock up given that he is the Cabinet minister that is meant to be in charge of it.

Dangermen
Things may be going pretty belly up for Birmingham but in Lukas Jutkiewicz they possess a man who knows where the goal is, having notched 11 times so far this season. Craig Gardner returned on loan from West Bromich Albion in January and is a decent operator at this level.

Betting
Given the way things went on Saturday against another side fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table, we’re expecting a similarly nervy game this time around. With that in mind, half time draw-full time Brighton at 7/2 looks decent value.

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