Birmingham vs Pompey Preview
Birmingham are in a bit of turmoil at the moment with Steve Bruce going to Wigan and their run of form has been awful recently, apart from a home win against Bruce's future club.
However, the Brummies might take heart in the fact that our record at St. Andrews is terrible and no Pompey fan will need reminding of the events of the last time we went there. We've not even managed to score a Premier League goal at Birmingham, although that looks like changing tomorrow.
Our away form has been nothing short of outstanding since the defeat at Arsenal. We've scored more goals on the road than any other team and the last player on the opposing team to score against us was Tomas Rosicky, with only Sol Campbell putting through his own net since then. It's safe to say that the odds favour us.
Mikael Forssell looks set to start in place of the injured Cameron Jerome in what will probably be the only change from the side that lost to Villa. Olivier Kapo has been making a name for himself at Birmingham, and he looks like their main threat so we'll have to keep him quiet.
As for Pompey, John Utaka is fit to play but Kanu most probably won't. With Diop back from suspension it's almost certain that Harry will revert back to the 4-5-1/4-3-3 that has served us remarkably well on the road. Noe Pamarot looks set to keep his place at left back once again too, after his recent impressive displays.
David Gold has been running his mouth about how Eric Black will be in charge for this game and how his chances of getting the job will vastly improve if they beat us 5-0 again. I can safely say that that won't happen and if anything, we could go there and smash five past them considering the contrasting fortunes of both sides.
Realistically though, this will probably be a tight game, much like the one at Wigan. With teams like Villa and West Ham picking up wins here, I feel that we need to do the same to keep our UEFA Cup bid on track. I'm quite confident that we'll win this one, so we'll probably end up losing now!
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Maik TAYLOR
RB: Stephen KELLY
CB: Liam RIDGEWELL
CB: Johan DJOUROU
LB: Rafael SCHMITZ
RM: Sebastian LARSSON
CM: Fabrice MUAMBA
CM: Wilson PALACIOS
LM: Daniel DE RIDDER
SS: Olivier KAPO
CF: Mikael FORSSELL
Bench: Richard KINGSON, Radhi JAIDI, Gary McSHEFFERY, Medhi NAFTI, Garry O'CONNOR
GK: David JAMES
RB: Glen JOHNSON
CB: Sol CAMPBELL
CB: Sylvain DISTIN
LB: Noe PAMAROT
RM: John UTAKA
CM: Sean DAVIS
CM: Papa BOUBA DIOP
CM: Sulley MUNTARI
LM: Niko KRANJCAR
Bench: Jamie ASHDOWN, Hermann HRIEDARSSON, Pedro MENDES, Matthew TAYLOR, David NUGENT
Premiership Past: Birmingham City vs Pompey
03/04: Birmingham City 2 Pompey 0
St. Andrews was the venue for Pompey's first ever Premiership defeat away from home. Stephen Clemence and Stan Lazaridis got the goals in a relatively comfortable win for the Brummies.
04/05: Birmingham City 0 Pompey 0
Alain Perrin's first away game in charge of Pompey was the mother of all bore draws. Linvoy Primus cleared off the line but that was as good as it got for either side.
05/06: Birmingham City 5 Pompey 0
Jiri Jarosik, Jermaine Pennant and Matthew Upson scored to make the game safe before the hour, whilst a penalty from Mikael Forssell and another from David Dunn in the final few minutes just added salt to the gaping wounds. All of this, and we still finished four points clear of them!
Lawro: Draw (1-1)
Sky Sports: Away Win (1-2)
My Prediction: Away Win (0-2)