Blues face Derby tomorrow night and will hope to impress in front of the cameras yet again after coming away from Turf Moor with a draw last weekend.
Gary Rowett will be delighted with his men’s start to the season, following up the opening day victory over Reading with an unexpectedly entertaining 2-2 draw at Burnley in front of the cameras last Saturday, where they convincingly outplayed the home side for the first 45 minutes – solid in defence and dangerous on the counter-attack.
Blues did’t play in mid-week as Brentford postponed the game due to the terrible state of the pitch at Griffin Park.
In contrast the Rams, one of the pre-season favourites for promotion, have made a slower start with a trio of draws against Bolton, Charlton and Middlesbrough and a Capital One Cup exit at the hands of Portsmouth. New manager Paul Clement will feel his men were unlucky not to have picked up all three points at home to the Londoners but they needed a late equaliser against Boro to earn the point at the iPro Stadium on Tuesday night.
Head to head
Birmingham have a close to even record against Derby, but the past few seasons have swung it their way:
The last time Blues beat the Rams was on home soil. It finished 3-1 with Blues coming back from a goal down.
Interestingly in the last 18 games both sides have scored a total of 27 goals against one and other.
Birmingham Team News
Rowett says he has slight concerns about the fitness of Michael Morrison and Jon Toral. The duo have been suffering from tight hamstrings and have missed some training sessions this week.
The rest of Gary Rowett’s unbeaten side look to be fit and ready for this one, and with no game in mid-week they have had time to rest and prepare.
Derby Team News
Paul Clement’s side have looked more solid in defence, with Jason Shackell back from Burnley to partner Richard Keogh. A leaky rearguard was the main reason for the Rams falling out of the play-off race last season – the only sides they kept clean sheets against in the final three months were the hapless relegated duo Wigan and Blackpool.
Injuries have already made life difficult this season with young star Will Hughes out until next year and fellow midfielders Jamie Hanson and Jeff Hendrick both forced off in midweek.
One’s To Watch
Spanish midfielder Jon Toral, on loan from Arsenal, netted in both games and looks set for another successful season after impressing during last season on loan at Brentford. In a division where there’s little to choose between a lot of the sides, goals from midfield are a priceless asset and he’s bringing that to the Blues at the moment.
As Derby haven’t really shown their attacking threat early on this season, we have picked defender Keogh for Derby’s one to watch.
Keogh produced a typically solid performance in the heart of defence on Tuesday evening, making a number of vital interceptions and clearances.
Blues: Kuszczak, Caddis (C), Robinson, Spector, Grounds, Gleeson, Davis, Cotterill, Shinnie, Gray, Donaldson.
Derby: Carson, Keogh, Hendrick, Martin, Baird, Shackell, Ince, Weimann, Hanson, Thorne, Warnock.
Lee Mason will take charge of tomorrow’s tie.
Mason has overseen two matches so far this season, both in the Premier League, and shown eight yellows to date.
We think this tie will be a score draw – 1-1. Let us know your predictions by tweeting us @bcfcfollowers!
Also, catch the game live on our Live Chat page from kick off.