Date:Friday October 22 2010
Birmingham City need a win desperately, on paper at the start of the season this game against Blackpool would have had many fans saying it was a certain three points.
But Pool have proved this season that they are no mugs and this will be a very difficult game for Blues.
'Blackpool have been a breath of fresh air. They have been great to watch.
'I know Charlie (Adam) very well. He has had a couple of tremendous seasons at Blackpool. He stepped up to the Premier League and he has not been found wanting. He has been a star.
'We know Charlie has got the ability to cause damage. He has got a tremendous shot on him, he has got good dead ball expertise.
'He is a great passer of the ball. He has really blossomed as a player and I am really proud of him.'
'Birmingham are one of the teams that I keep talking to my team about. I think the way they play football is a credit to their manager.
'Alex seems a real honest, robust, old-fashioned man who's got values and morals and I love the way his team plays. To be honest, I'm pretty scared of them.
'They really do put a stint in and I think they've been slightly unfortunate this season, but they were exceptional last year, which is full credit to them.
'When you look at the players they've got, I'm expecting a really tough game. When you go to Birmingham City, their fans - if there was a roof on there, they'd lift it off every week.
'They've got a marvellous record at home so we'll have our work cut out. But I'm really looking forward to it. I want to see my lads bounce back from the disappointment of getting no points and see what we can do in this game.''
Birmingham will give a late fitness test to striker Cameron Jerome before finalising their line-up.
Jerome, City's top scorer with 11 goals last season, suffered an ankle injury in training and was ruled out of last weekend's clash at Arsenal.
Nikola Zigic, who replaced Jerome at the Emirates Stadium, could in any case retain his place after scoring his first Premier League goal in the 2-1 defeat.
Midfielder Craig Gardner will complete a three-game ban while winger Jean Beausejour remains sidelined with a knee problem although he has started running.
Birmingham (from): Foster, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Larsson, Ferguson, Bowyer, Fahey, Hleb, Zigic, Taylor, Parnaby, Murphy, Jiranek, Michel, O'Connor, Jerome, Phillips, Derbyshire.
The keeper will have to be on top form for this one.
Blackpool's good start to life in the Premier League continues to include the fitness of their squad, with Ian Holloway again largely untroubled by injuries.
The Tangerines boss has no fresh worries, although Billy Clarke, Alex Baptiste (both knee) and Louis Almond (shoulder) remain on the sidelines.
Blackpool (from): Gilks, Kingson, Keinan, Eardley, Taylor-Fletcher, Crainey, Evatt, Adam, Vaughan, Varney, Ormerod, Campbell, Grandin, Harewood, Southern, Carney, Cathcart, Basham, Euell, Sylvestre, Demontagnac, Phillips, Edwards.
Oozes class, this lad is going to go onto bigger things, no doubt.
Alex McLeish is one win shy of 50 as Birmingham manager. He has won 49, drawn 39 and lost 41 of his 129 matches in charge in all competitions.
They have only scored twice in their last five top-flight matches.
Ian Holloway's side have lost three of their last four matches.
Five of Charlie Adam's last six goals in all competitions have been penalties.
Got to remain optimistic, going for a 2-1 win.
31/10 A: Aston Villa
6/11 H: West Ham United
9/11 A: Stoke City
13/11 A: Manchester City
Date:Friday October 22 2010
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