Big start for Birmingham
The fixture list has landed and it has offered up a huge start for newly-promoted Birmingham.
Saturday August 11th sees them taking a trip to Stamford Bridge to face FA Cup holder Chelsea, for a baptism of fire that many fans were expecting.
The first home game will be against fellow promotion-winners Sunderland, so there will be high expectations of this being an opportunity to notch up some very valuable points.
The Christmas period sees a visit from Boro on Boxing Day, echoing the very firsat fixture at St Andrew`s on 26th December 1906. Let`s hope that the fans are not all drafted into clearing snow from the pitch in a repetition of Christmas Past.
Manchester United will be hosting Blues on New Year`s Day in a fixture that could be a Sky Sports choice, as meetings between Sir Alex and his old boys are always popular fare.
And what of the long-awaited Blues-Villa derbies? These are well-spaced, the St Andrew`s fixture taking place on the weekend of November 10th and the return match at Villa Park on the weekend of April 19th, when points could be all-important to both sides. These are likely to be highly-charged affairs and are bound to be heavily-policed early kickoffs.
All in all, it looks to be an exciting season. The first sight of the fixture list is always daunting and is a sharp reminder that there are no easy games at this level. The start of the season could be a good opportunity to pick up points, so it is imperative that Steve Bruce fashions a side that are prepared to come straight out of the blocks on August 11th.