Birmingham City v Newcastle United match preview

Posted on February 15th, 2011 | 18 Comments |

Birmingham City v Newcastle United
Toon has to brave the midlands
Newcastle United head off to the midlands to face Birmingham City for a second consecutive away match.

The Blues are only two points and four places behind us, with a match in hand, so a home win could see them jump above us in the table. It’s one of those games the pundits would probably call a ‘six pointer’ but I’m not a pundit so I won’t call it that.

On the injury list we still have Ameobi, Ben Arfa, Gosling, Ireland, S Taylor, Smith and R Taylor, although Dan Gosling and Stephen Ireland are reportedly nearing full fitness.

I’m guessing that Alan Pardew will stick with roughly the same team as he used on Saturday, although he may reassess our striking options with both Ranger and Kuqi as possible alternatives to Best and Lovenkrands in the starting line up.

Birmingham have Dann, McFadden and Valles out with injury but otherwise McLeish has a fully fit squad to choose from. One of Birmingham’s main threats is club joint top scorer Nikola Zogic about who McLeish recently said:

Ziggy has become a fixture in the team as he’s become more aggressive. We know he’s capable of finishing. If we get that type of delivery to him in the box, there’s not a lot of defenders who can live with a guy that size.

We could of course find ourselves lining up against ex-Toon striker Oba Martins and, ahead of the game, he’s been keen to try and make peace with Newcastle fans, saying:

I have good memories of Newcastle – the only bad memory was when we got relegated. It was normal when I left because they couldn’t afford the money. That’s why they asked me to go. I didn’t say anything. The club asked me to go and called me when Wolfsburg came in.

But I don’t know what I am going to expect. I hope they give me a good reception and I would be glad if they did.

It was a sad story. It was definitely the lowest point of my career. It was painful when we got relegated. Just because I left there that wasn’t it, it was painful for about seven months. I was still thinking how we got relegated. It was very very sad.

Hmm. Anyway, Alan Pardew has been talking about how Birmingham are a difficult side to score against:

We are going to a Birmingham side with their tails up.

They are a disciplined side, a hard-working side and have some very good players.

It is a cliche but it’s a very important game and we want to get three points on the board if we can.

That won’t be easy to do away though as I think they’ve only lost two at home all year, so they have a very good record.

They are a side who restrict you in terms of attacking them. They are very solid, they don’t allow you to have a lot of room between the lines, and it is therefore very difficult to score in open play.

But you can boss the game like we did at Blackburn and hopefully create chances from set plays and the odd time when you can get between the lines.

Our record at St Andrews is pretty good and Birmingham haven’t won against us there since I was wearing flares back in 1977, so let’s hope that record continues.

Birmingham (from): Foster, Carr, Johnson, Jiranek, Ridgewell, Larsson, Ferguson, Gardner, Bentley, Zigic, Martins, Jerome, Doyle, Bowyer, Phillips, Fahey, Beausejour, Davies.

Newcastle (from): Harper, Simpson, Perch, Williamson, Coloccini, Enrique, Barton, Tiote, Nolan, Gutierrez, Best, Kuqi, Lovenkrands, Ranger, Krul, Campbell, Guthrie, Ferguson.

The man with the whistle is Lee Mason and the game kicks off at 7:45PM.


NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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18 Responses

  1. Was thinking last night if we had had fewer injuries to players like Hatem and held onto AC and added some quality in the Jan window we could have been in contention for a Euro slot.
    Tuff ask tonight against a sturdy blues side that work for a full 90 mins…would settle for a point.

  2. Funny a win will see us pushing for a good finish where as a loss will see us falling down there big time

  3. is it me or is pardew trying to flog off our better players? This last week seems very strange when i think of enrique, really it does. First of all he announces to the whole footballing world that if big clubs come knocking that we may find it hard to hang onto iur main men……..then he starts saying enrique was best man on the pitch at blackburn by a mile and that he should be in the spain team and then to cap it off he tell s the entire fottballing world that enrique will not sign new contract yet jsut to make sure veryone is on red alert. Pisssssses me off how we have become a selling club with zaero ambition beyond money in fattys pocket. its very sad. To make it worse we all know if we go down this time we will stay down as all assetts sold off now. ashley is making huge gambles at every turn with nufc. now barton has gone all quiet on contract talks too…. its all looking rather bleak in terms of us keeping hold of nay of our good staff.

  4. Tickets available for the away end. Tempted to go, I’m only 40 minutes away.
    Looking at a draw.

  5. i think ranger will be as good as carroll of better tbh, he looks great when he comes in and a real handfull. maybe we should never play him then cos as soon as we do and he gets decent he will be flogged off to buy fatso’s next load of craps in some vegas casino as he slides ‘the puppet’ Pardew a few hundred grand for being the fall guy for the angry fans.