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Birmingham's tactics to beat Villa

Birmingham's tactics to beat Villa

Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce must decide what formation to play against long-ball specialists Villa at St Andrews on Sunday.

With Villa boss Martin O'Neill preferring to play what could more politely be described as a "direct style" of football, Bruce must decide whether to opt for 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1 or a mixture of 4-5-1 and 4-3-3.

However, while the decision would be a crucial one in any other match - and arguably far easier to make - Bruce has suggested the rulebook goes out the window when it comes to the second city derby.

Bruce was quoted by the Birmingham Mail as saying: "Does it really make any difference in a derby game? We played Wigan and played really well and scored three goals, we played well at Man City with one off the front, Man United too.

"The team has been playing well. However, we haven't been getting the points we deserve. I am looking at it - deeply I am looking at it, absolutely - and I have always tended to play 4-4-2 in my managerial career.

"If I was going to pick a formation I enjoy playing, then it would be 4-4-2. However, I am also wary of what we are trying to be here. Sometimes to take people on with a 4-4-2, for instance Man United, well I'm sorry but they are better than what we are. Same as Chelsea. We wouldn't do ourselves any favour."

While the Blues are clearly not (yet) on the same level as Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson's side humiliated Villa by keeping the ball on the floor and making quick, short passes to negate the physical tactics Villa sometimes employ.

Close control in the middle of the park, with pace out-wide when on the attack, could prove to be Bruce's best option and, as was seen against Man Utd, could be used to exploit Villa if their heads drop.

Fortunately, Birmingham have the players who can cope with the fiery atmosphere that is guaranteed to engulf St Andrews on Sunday. Whether Villa players have the same mentality - even those who have played in Old Firm derbies - remains to be seen. Perhaps the best way to beat the historians will be by ensuring all 11 players in blue are still on the pitch at the end of the 90 minutes!

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Writer:Jasper's Parrot
Date:Friday November 9 2007
Time: 8:50PM

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Comments

0
Not so sure it´ll actually work, but as a Yank mate of mine at work would say: Hell , let em run it up the flag pole and see if it flies!! Best of luck to you lot.
Blue is the colour
09/11/2007 21:22:00
0
Sadly, the majority of the visiting fans think tactics are little mints you get in rectangular plastic containers...
Jasper's Parrot
09/11/2007 21:24:00
0
don't worry spending to much time thinking about tactics, no doubt you will just be defending the whole game 4-5-1.
liamo1981
09/11/2007 22:18:00
0
Our defenders will need neck braces as they'll be looking up a lot at the 90-yard "O'Neill balls" being punted down the park, that's for sure.
Jasper's Parrot
09/11/2007 22:24:00
0
Long ball??? But he could have been England manager!!! No idea what at, though!
St Andrews Blue
09/11/2007 22:31:00
0
As usual,you haven't got a clue.Bluenose tactics will be the same as ever. If it moves kick it. Try and kick any quality off the park, hope for a scrappy goal and hold on if possible. Maybe you all feel that Bruce should be the next England manager. He will need to find a job soon because the ladyboy that now runs your lot doesn't want him. Rember there's a circus in the town.
return of godzvilla
10/11/2007 00:54:00
0
Hi, i am an everton fan and i'd like to see villa beat you lot on sunday because whenever i see birmingham play, their fans are the most obscene, foul-mouthed chavs i have seen at a football game. last week at goodison i had my 8 year old son with me, and the language was unbelievable. i am sure you are not all like that, but it seems the majority of birmingham fans are intent on causing trouble.
ric112
10/11/2007 11:34:00
0
Hahaha. Thank you so much for brightening up my day with that article. VILLA the long ball specialist!!!!! VILLA!!!! Coming from blues fans!!!! Absolutley priceless!!!!! You are off your head lad as well if you think you are able to play the type of football manu did against us. Theres only one team that can play like that, manu. Dissallusioned. Again thanks you for that article, I loved it!!!
PBAVFC
10/11/2007 11:35:00
0
There can only be one winner if the Birmingham derby comes down to who has the better manager - Steve Bruce is the only one who isn't amusingly out-of-touch with the modern game.
Jasper's Parrot
10/11/2007 13:29:00
0
Too right. As you said elsewhere, it's 2007, not 2000!
The Blues Brother
10/11/2007 15:22:00
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