Blues Take On Sunderland
Stadium of Light
It's the first game of the season and Blues are still looking to add to their squad. But the football starts now and they will be looking to come back from Sunderland with at least a point on the board
Alex McLeish: 'Thinking of consolidation and just staying up sounds negative but we have got to be realistic at the club.
'We have to realise teams have come up before from the Championship and done well in their first season and then they've had a very difficult season.
'We are not a surprise to anyone any more. There is more pressure on us this season. Teams may tactically prepare a bit more thoroughly than they did last season.
'The players are always looking for improvement. Whether they can do better than last season, that's my challenge to them'.
Sunderland Team News:
Darren Bent faces a late fitness test ahead of this game.
The striker had to withdraw from the England squad in midweek following a back spasm and Bruce rates him as 50/50.
Danny Welbeck and youngster Martyn Waghorn will both be looking for starts upfront should Bent not make it.
Simon Mignolet is certain to be given the nod in goal with Craig Gordon sidelined by a broken arm.
Titus Bramble, Nedum Onouha, Marcos Angeleri, Paulo da Silva and Cristian Riveros will all hope to make their debuts.
Player to watch: Danny Welbeck
He will soon get the feel of the crowd and will be hungry for goals during his loan spell.
Blues Team News:
Alex McLeish is hopeful goalkeeper Ben Foster will have recovered from the back spasm suffered on England duty to make his debut.
City's other major summer signing, Serbia striker Nikola Zigic, is also included in the squad.
Defender Stuart Parnaby has been declared fit after sustaining a hamstring injury 10 days ago meaning veteran striker Kevin Phillips is the only major absentee with the torn thigh muscle which will sideline him for four to six weeks.
Player to watch: Nikola Zigic
He'll be looking to be a handful for the Sunderland defence, keen to get his first goal on the board.
Match Facts & Stats
Birmingham have won five of their eight Premier League games against Sunderland.
The overall record between the sides in 115 matches is 52 wins for Sunderland, 41 for Birmingham and 22 draws.
Sunderland manger Steve Bruce was Birmingham boss for six years from 2001 to 2007. He presided over 270 matches, winning 100, losing 100 and drawing 70.
Referee: Anthony Taylor. Assistant referees: Andy Garratt & Dave Bryan. Fourth official: Chris Foy
1-1 would be a good result for Blues from this game and that's the scoreline I'm going for.
Birmingham vs Blackburn 21-08-2010