Blues v West Ham preview
After last weeks fantastic result, I hope you all had a good weekend celebrating. To make the top 10 is a remarkable achievement and if someone at the start of the season had offered me a top ten place at Christmas, I would have bitten their hand off for it.
We now have a fantastic chance to consolidate that win with Saturday`s home fixture against West ham. A win would see us equal our own Premier League record of four straight league victories, and coming off the back of a 6-game undefeated streak, I`ve a feeling that three points is on the cards again this weekend.
West Ham though, have a good record against the Blues. They are unbeaten in their last 5 league meetings against us, and of their last 6 trips to St Andrew`s, have won 5 and drawn 1. The West Ham of this season, and it`s no stretch to say, have been struggling. They have conceded 2 goals in 10 of their last 11 games and find themselves with a joint league low of only 3 wins all season. With their opening day win over Wolves as their only away triumph this season, their other two victories against Aston Villa & Burnley, both coming at home.
Their away from has seen them pick up 6 points with the win over Wolves, and three draws to go with their four defeats. The latest coming against Manchester United who ended the match with a complete makeshift defence.
In contrast our home form has seen only two defeats at St Andrews this season coming against Aston Villa & Bolton. With 3 wins and 2 draws out of 7 games, added to the fact that 4 of our home matches have been clean sheets, then that`s not a bad return.
Blues have managed only 15 goals this season, and with only 9 goals at St Andrew`s - a league low, just shows the sterling job the defence are doing. The defence is looking strong as ever and has the bragging rights of being the 5th best defence in the league. Only Fulham, Aston Villa, Manchester United & Chelsea have a better record. Conceding only 16 goals all season West Ham`s top goal scorer, Carlton Cole (7), has his work cut out for him.
I couldn`t care less how many goals we score though, as at the moment, wins are key, not the amount of goals.
In the first half against Wigan, we didn`t really create anything, but in the second half showed a real maturity to come out attacking. Larsson`s equalizer was a bit of a gift but after Bowyer`s clever pass Benitez ripped the defence to take the lead. Larsson put the points in the bag with 10 minutes to spare even after a nervy finish from Wigan, which saw them produce a goal.
If we can replicate the second half performance against Wigan over 90 minutes on Saturday then I feel that West Ham won`t have a chance. They`ve conceded 30 goals this season, and with spirits so high in the Birmingham dressing room, there won`t be a better time to put right the poor record we currently hold against the Hammers.
With Fulham travelling to Burnley`s Turf Moor fortress, and the woeful Liverpool playing the majestic Arsenal on Sunday, three points could see us level on points with 7th placed Liverpool.
May we dream?
Prediction… Birmingham City 1 - 0 West Ham United