Bruce relishes Villa challenge
Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce believes Sunday's clash with Aston Villa at St Andrews will be a great occasion and full of incident.
With Martin O'Neill's Aston Villa having an indifferent start to the season, the game promises to be an open affair with chances at both ends. But, apart from the actual action on the pitch, Bruce believes the whole experience is one of the best things about being in the Premier League.
Bruce told Sky Sports News: "This is what I harped on about last year, in some of the team talks. 'Do you want to play against Villa? Do you want to play at Old Trafford?'
"This is the reward. Aston Villa at home - of course it's always a really, really great occasion. Full of incident, and I am sure this will be no different. This is what we are in it for, to play these big games. It is great to be back pitting my wits against them."
Meanwhile, three players are racing to be fit in time for the match. Gary McSheffrey is unlikely to start after injuring his calf in training, while Cameron Jerome has had a stomach problem and Garry O'Connor injured his knee against Everton on Saturday, as well as tweaking his groin and taking a knock on his hip.
Fortunately, Bruce can draft a number of players into the side to cover, if required, and the atmosphere on the day should prove to be a huge leveller for whoever is named in the starting XI.