MATCH PREVIEW: Blues V Sheffield Wednesday

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Birmingham City vs Sheffield Wednesday
2017/18 EFL Championship
Date: Wednesday, 27th September 2017
Kick Off: 19:45 UK / 20:45 CET
Venue: St. Andrew’s Stadium (Birmingham)

Blues won 2-1 against Sheff Wed last season
Blues won 2-1 against Sheff Wed last season

Blues will step out onto the Home turf today knowing that only a win will do in the circumstances, as the deadlock has finally been broken rebelling from a 1-1 draw at Pride Park on Saturday.

Tonight’s opponents are Sheffield Wednesday. As Blues went face-to-face with the Owls in the Home fixture last season, the blue boys struck the back of the opposition net in the dying embers of the game, and we were successful in gaining all 3 points. And no doubt, Lee Carsley will be barking his orders from the dugouts as we look to have the same circumstances repeat again, but a more comfortable win will be targeted this evening from Birmingham.

The Sheffield bunch will attempt to bounce back efficiently from falling to a derby day defeat on Sunday afternoon. The fixture was lost 4-2 by Sheff Wed, as their rivals Sheffield United proved all doubters wrong as the Owls suffered to a loss at Hillsborough.

However, there will be 11 Birmingham City men standing tall in the way of a chance of redemption for Wednesday tonight, as we look to get our season back on track by collecting our 2nd win of the 2017/18 footballing year, and attempting to shoot up the Championship table as quickly as possible.

The season so far for Blues has been ugly to say the least, with our manager sacked after just 8 games in charge and only redeeming one win and two draws not being the most advertising of things to watch of late. The Blues players are seemingly putting in the best efforts that they have available to them, but the results just simply aren’t racking up, and the scorelines aren’t good enough. We are currently a side cursed with injuries, with top-scorer and fan favourite Che Adams not fit, and record signing Jota being out due to the same injury.

But we are Birmingham City nonetheless, and we have the spirit to win any game we set our heart to, and one thing’s for certain, we will forever stand united and fight ’til the end. And with the right team and right person controlling the side, we could still be in with a good shot of rocketing up the table and aiming for a play-off spot, so long as the points begin to add up as quickly as possible.

Carsley, who is currently sustaining the role of manager since the sacking of HR, is a no-nonsense bloke, and he is very passionate when it comes to his work. On his debut performance with the title of caretaker manager, we saw our boys play with pride and passion, as we shared the points with our former gaffer Gary Rowett, as the Bluenoses cheered the blue boys on from start to finish. Blues went a goal to the good in the encounter, with Lukas Jutkiewicz scoring with practically his first touch of the ball with a sublime header bouncing past a stretching Scott Carson. But just 3 minutes later, the ball found its way over our own goal line and the scores were instantly levelled with Derby’s key man- Sam Winnall. Talk about super-subs…

Carsley on his Blues debut as manager
Carsley on his Blues debut as manager

And now, with our rotten spell of abysmal football pushed to one side, our team will put in the best brawl possible, as we aspire to collect another Home win and find ourselves with a lot more confidence heading into our upcoming bundle of fixtures. Tonight we will gaze to see the extent that Blues will go to in order to claim victory over our contenders, and if Lee Carsley could see himself remain prop with the role of head boss at BCFC for the future.

Sheffield Wednesday’s last result against Blues was 3-0 at Hillsborough, as the Sky Sports cameras televised our miserable defeat on 10th February. But things are different at St. Andrew’s, as our extravagant fans support our side through thick and thin, with the Away side battling in order to snatch a goal against a feisty Birmingham bunch. And that is the way that we would like the scene to be set tonight. But Sheff Wed top scorer Gary Hooper will be psyching himself up in order to beat our man between the sticks. Will he add to his goal scoring tally for the season tonight? Or will Tomasz Kuszczak add a clean sheet to his name and maintain his status on the team sheet until David Stockdale has recovered?

Team News:

BLUES – Che Adams, Jota and Jason Lowe are all sidelined due to hamstring injuries. Isaac Vassell is now fully fit for action back in the team. Sam Gallagher has had a slight niggle and he may be likely to start as a substitute.

SHEFF WED –

Head-To-Head:

Blues Wins – 35
Games Drawn – 24
Sheff Wed Wins – 34
Biggest Win – Sheff Wed 9-1 Blues

League Form:

BLUES: LLLLD

SHEFF WED: DWWDL

Previous Encounter:

Sheff Wed 3-0 Blues (10th Feb 2017)

Played For Both – Jacques Maghoma:

mags-at-sheff-wed

Jacques Maghoma spent two seasons at Hillsborough, making 57 appearances from 2013-2015. Jacques scored a measly 2 goals for Sheffield Wednesday, whereas he has already scored just as many in 9 games this season for Blues, making it 10 goals in 75 games as a Birmingham player. Mags is one of my favourite’s in the side, and I hope he gives those shaky Sheff Wed defenders nightmares after playing against him tonight…

Predicted Lineup:

lineup111506445735142

Blues set to go back to basics with a four at the back formation, with the back line set up exactly the same as against Derby. Gardner and Ndoye to make appearances again by holding back in midfield. Maghoma, Boga and Vassell will work as a midfield trio by getting the attacks flowing. Lukas Jutkiewicz looks set to make it back into the Starting 11 by making another appearance under the flood lights as a lone striker.

Thoughts from the Boss:

On what he expects from Sheff Wed:

I expect them to be all guns blazing on Wednesday (tonight) and it’s important we not only watch them but try and run over the top of them. They’re a decent team, you can see what the manager is trying to do there. It’s going to be a tough game for us.

On the St. Andrew’s atmosphere:

I’ve played against Birmingham at St. Andrew’s and it should be an intimidating place. That’s what I want it to be like on Wednesday (tonight). I want it to be hostile, a cauldron. So that is just what we’re looking for.

On the injuries in the team at the moment:

I think that we will have to adjust some of the training techniques with what we have done in the past. I don’t think that we can just accept that we had whatever it was, three maybe four hamstring injuries at once. The problem when you play Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday is that the chance to get a good training session fitted in becomes more difficult.

Score prediction:

I know full well that with the success of Sheff Wed over the past 2 years, they will be a tough side to play against. They will be tough to break down and tough to defend against. But their defence has been very flimsy this season, and after conceding 4 goals on derby day, I don’t think they will be able to stop the force of our attacking options.

So for that reason, I am going to go with 2-1 Blues. I think they will snatch a goal, but with the power and threat of our attackers, I think a win is on the cards for Carsley’s boys. COYBB!!

That’s my score prediction, but I want to hear yours! Comment your predicted score-line below, and feel free to tell us what you think about this Match Preview…

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