Tomorrow Blues welcome Ipswich Town to St Andrews with both teams looking to push on into the top six in the Championship.
No one can predict the outcome. Blues come off the back of a 3-0 away victory at Derby whereas Ipswich struggled at Pompey, which ended in a 2-1 defeat in the FA Cup mid-week.
However that result for the Tractor Boys doesn’t reflect their season one bit. Sitting in 7th place, Mick McCarthy’s team have the best away form in the League (winning and unbeaten in 7), thanks to their counter attacking play. Similar to Blues, they sit back and encourage teams to press then hit them on the attack.
Blues have the 10th best home record in the League, however they are unbeaten in 3 games at St Andrews (winning all 3). That with the fantastic result last weekend will give Gary Rowett’s side great confidence going into this one.
Birmingham have won 55%, drawn 20% and lost 25% of their last 20 home games.
In their last 20 home games against teams positioned in the top half of the table, Birmingham have won 8, drawn 6 and lost 6 of these matches.
In their last 20 home games against teams positioned above them in the table, Birmingham have won 5, drawn 7 and lost 8 of these matches.
Ipswich have won 40%, drawn 20% and lost 40% of their last 20 away games.
In their last 20 away games against teams positioned in the top half of the table, Ipswich have won 5, drawn 7 and lost 8 of these matches.
In their last 20 away games against teams positioned below them in the table, Ipswich have won 10, drawn 3 and lost 7 of these matches.
Manager Gary Rowett has signed a new contract with the club, rewarding not only him but his staff, for the work they’ve done.
Player views – Stephen Gleeson:
“It’s going to be another tough game. It seems every week we are in a tough game but I think we are starting to put performances together.
“Hopefully now we can kick on and have a little play-off push ourselves. But it’s going to be tough on Saturday.”
“He (McCarthy) knows the league inside out, they were having a bad spell at the start of the season but they are flying now,” Gleeson continued.
Player views – Ipswich’s Freddie Sears:
“It has maybe suited us a little bit better away from home – that’s what the results suggest.
“The pace we have on the counter-attack at times is scary with me, Ryan Fraser and even Murph. Not many teams can cope with that when we’re away from home.
“It’s obviously difficult at home when teams come and sit in. You have to take the game to them a bit more but thankfully it has been working pretty well recently.
“Birmingham have surprised most of us. They’ve stuck at it and they are picking up results. They have had a bit of a purple patch recently and beat Derby at the weekend, so they are going to be flying with confidence.
“It’s a big game for both teams and whoever wins it could really go on and push on to the top six.”
A massive game. So if you’re free tomorrow make sure you head down to St Andrews and get the place rocking!
Keep Right On!
Images – BBC, Guardian, Birmingham Mail