Date: 31st October 2009 at 3:48pm
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On Sky

City head to Birmingham beaten only once this season in search of three crucial points to maintain pressure on the top four league places

Vital Quotes:

Mark Hughes

‘What we are looking for is a consistent run of results. But one defeat in nine, I would suggest, is consistent form. We have drawn the last three, and that has just taken the edge off our progress, but I think you have to view the first part of the season as a whole, and we are delighted with the start that we have made. We are in good shape, in a decent position and there is more to come from us. We know that. We are the only side that’s only been beaten once in the Premier League. That is something to look back on.’

VMC City Video Link: Boss Looks Ahead To Birmingham

Alex McLeish:

‘Man City need no introduction. They have household names, world famous players and Mark Hughes has done a great job. But, certainly, it’s not about us being fearful of them because of that. We will show them respect, of course, but we have to be confident in ourselves at St Andrew’ s against any opposition. We have gone toe to toe with a lot of the big teams this season and have not looked out of place, as if we didn’t belong in this Premier League.’

Birmingham City Team News:

City favourite Joe Hart, under the terms of his loan move to Brum cannot play in goal so the veteran Maik Taylor will be tasked with keeping out City’s strikers.

Bent, Espinoza, Murphy and Martin Taylor are all knacked while Fahey faces a late fitness test.

Player to watch: Christian Benitez

‘Chucho’ has yet to find the net this season but is winning bags of praise for his efforts in leading the Birmingham line. The little Ecuadorian will require close attention.

Manchester CITY Team News:

Sparky has almost a full deck to choose from his 25 man senior squad. Robinho and Nedum Onuoha remain the only absentees with long term injuries.

Everyone else is battling for a start. An ideal situation for the determined City gaffer.

Player to watch: Carlos Tevez

‘El Apache’s’ work rate is increasing with every game and he is very close to charging down any goalkeeper who is slow to clear his lines. As Tev get’s fitter, City will create more.

Match Facts & Stats

Birmingham have lost 6 of their last 8 games in all competitions.

Only Pompey have scored less league goals than Birmingham’s 8 this season.

VMC have been unable to secure a ‘Seven Deadly Sins Fans Q&A with Vital Birmingham.

VMC Forum Link: City v Birmingham- Match Day Thread

Ref Watch:

Mike Dean, Wirral

Mr. Dean is becoming something of a City away day stalker as he takes charge of City for the 3rd time on the road this season. We won at Blackburn and drew at Villa with Dean at the controls. He’s yet to red card anybody this season and despite booking 9 players in the rags jammy win over Arsenal, looks to be one of the more sensible refs on the FA books.
Current season record:
Games: 9, Yellow Cards: 30, Red Cards: 0.

Match Prediction:

Much has been made of Birmingham’s win over Sunderland in recent press. Sure it was a great result but you cannot discount numerous dreadful Birmingham performances this season.
I still believe that City have not quite ‘clicked’ yet, but that point is coming. Sparky’s men should have enough in the tank to deal with whatever McLeish throws at them. Johnny On The Spot: Birmingham 0 CITY 2

Next Fixtures:

H: Burnley, Sat 7 Nov 1500 GMT
A: Liverpool, Sat 21 Nov 1245 GMT
H: Hull City, Sat 28 Nov 1500 GMT


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