MATCH PREVIEW: Norwich City V Blues

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Blues come back after the International break for a 3 hour journey to Norfolk, as we look set to go toe-to-toe with Norwich City.

Blues are still currently sat on one win of the 2017/18 season so far, as we claimed 3 points against Bristol City in our first Home game of the season. However, Blues have only been able to register another point since the win on 12th August.

Yet despite this, we will make our way down to Norwich tomorrow, with our heads held high, and our faith strong as all of our new signings are now illegible to face the side. Debuts loom certain for star-signing Jota, who has broken the Birmingham City transfer record, sucker-punching the price of Nikola Zigic when he was appointed from Valencia in 2010.

Similar to Blues, the Canaries haven’t been one to impress this season. Only racking up a mere 4 points, both teams will be looking to add to their tally come Saturday afternoon in an attempt to finally get their season on track.

Their boss Daniel Farke has found it hard to hit the ground running so far this campaign, with their only points coming in a 1-0 away win at Fulham and all three points at Home to QPR. The German will be desperate to get his team to bounce back after a very lackluster performance at Millwall which ended 4-0 to the Lions.

Our opponents have a strong side, led by on loan goalkeeper Angus Gunn, who is there from Manchester City. The shot stopper on the other hand conceded 4 goals to Aston Villa a few games ago, and Blues will look to also net a large amount of goals, to secure another 3 points and lead us to glory at last.

All eyes will be on Harry Redknapp’s new look side. With 14 summer signings, no one can predict the team the 70-year-old will field. New club record signing Jota will be expected to start, along side Harlee Dean and Sam Gallagher.

Jeremie Bogar is also expected to feature with the only in form player of the last month, Jacques Maghoma. It will also be interesting to see which formation Harry will run with. Will be go all out with his preferred 3-5-2 system or play it safe with a 4-4-2?

Team news

BLUES – News that will be welcomed by every Blues fan is the return of striker Che Adams who has recovered from the hamstring injury that kept him out for a month. Isaac Vassell (hamstring) misses out, as does Carl Jenkinson who underwent surgery on a dislocated shoulder.

NORWICH – Centre-half Grant Hanley could make his debut for the Canaries, following his move from Newcastle. Midfielder Alex Pritchard (ankle), Jamal Lewis (knee) and Louis Thompson (Achilles) are all out. Cameron Jerome is a doubt with a groin injury.

Head to head

Games won 21
Games drawn 23
Games lost 21

Form

BLUES – LWDLL

NORWICH – DLWLL

Last visit

Norwich 2 Blues 0 (28th Jan 2017)

Thoughts from the boss

Harry Redknapp looking forward to the future:
“I’m looking forward to the future with Birmingham. I think we’ve got a good group of players in here now that will make a big difference. I think we will see a different team. There are some really exciting players. I think we did some great business in the end. You don’t get every target you go for but we certainly got the majority of what we were looking for and I couldn’t be more pleased with the support I had in the window from the owners and it’s up to us now to go and get the results.”

Harry Redknapp on what he expects from Norwich City…
“They’re a proper football club Norwich. They have been a well-run club for years – Premier League – back to the Championship, Premier League back to the Championship. It will be a tough game tomorrow they’ve got some good players. It’s always a good atmosphere. But I’m pleased with my team and I like the look of us and I think we’ve got a really good team going forward and I think we’ve got some exciting players that the fans are going to absolutely love watching in the future.ā€

Harry Redknapp asked if he was prepared to throw his new players straight into the fray…
“Yes, absolutely. It’s not like I’m changing a winning team, I’m changing a team that has been struggling to get results, so it’s a new beginning. I’ve got to get results. Lets’ see how we go but I feel that there is a squad here now going forward that will give Birmingham as good a team as they’ve seen in a long time. I really believe that now looking at the group. I’ve got hard decisions – leaving some of them out, leaving some of the ones that were here before out. But Iā€™d rather have too many good players than not enough.ā€

Predicted lineups

Blues to go with 3 at the back, with Bramall and N’Sue pushing down the flanks to add the width:

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Norwich: Gunn, Franke, Hanley, Martin, Husband, Maddison, Reed, Hoolahan, Ivo Pinto, Oliveria, Jerome.

Played for both – Cameron Jerome

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Of course it’s that man Jerome. In 181 games he scored 37 goals for us. Not the best of records but still a highly rated player in my eyes nonetheless. He’s scored just as many for Norwich in 116 appearances and I bet the odds are shorter than normal for him to score on Saturday!

Score prediction

I may be optimistic with this one, but I’m going for a comfortable 3-1 away victory for the boys in blue. I think the quality of Jota in the middle of the park will make all the difference, with Bogar and Gallagher amongst the goals. Although, it is Blues and they never do it the easy way…

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