Derby Day Part One.
21 Oct 2010
This is one of the games most looked forward to if you are a Blues fan, apart from Aston Villa at home of course. It feels like an age since Blues beat the Villa, in fact it is too long but there is a chance of pulling it off due to Villa having a couple of key players out.
Lets just hope that the referee isn`t as bad as the one we got in this game last season.
'Derbies are always the same. They are high-intensity games and there always seems to be a lot of pressure in them.
'There is maybe not a lot of great football but plenty of high intensity and a lot of tackles.
'I think it's the team who wants it most tends to come out on top. It's not always the quality that shines through.
'We have to know that that whoever goes out there for us has to match Birmingham's effort and commitment towards the game.''
'We're the underdogs at the minute. Villa have been the top team for the last few years.
'Now we're moving up the table and doing well every week. Last season we finished really high and we're looking to improve on that.
'Villa are looking over their shoulders now, and so they should be. There is the potential to become the city's top team. I'd like Villa to be underdogs and Blues to be above them. Time will tell won't it?.
'But it would be amazing if we did finish above them this year because then we could give them six or seven years of stick all in one year.
'They're a top-class team. We're not going there thinking we'll walk over them because they've got players missing.
'We know it's going to be a tough game and we're going to get in their faces and make it hard for them. We'll run our socks off for 90 minutes and hopefully get the points.''
Aston Villa Team News:
Aston Villa left-back Stephen Warnock will return after suspension for the Sunday's Barclays Premier League derby with Birmingham at Villa Park.
The former Liverpool player was banned for the midweek Carling Cup win over Burnley after incurring five bookings.
Striker Gabriel Agbonlahor (groin), captain Stiliyan Petrov (knee) and defender Luke Young (hamstring) are injured and midfielder Marc Albrighton is banned but boss Gerard Houllier hopes striker John Carew will have recovered from the bout of flu which ruled him out against the Clarets.
Player to watch: Stewart Downing
Played nine and score three of his six shots that have been on target so far in the Premier League this season.
Birmingham Team News:
Playmaker Alexander Hleb has been declared fit.
The on-loan Barcelona player suffered a knee injury during last Saturday's 2-0 home success over Blackpool but is named in Alex McLeish's squad.
Midfielder Michel has shaken off a kick on the shin suffered against Brentford in the midweek Carling Cup tie but Cameron Jerome (ankle), Jean Beausejour (knee) and James McFadden (knee) are long-term absentees.
Player to watch: Nikola Zigic
Scored twice in his last two Premier League games, looks like he is beginning to find his form and he is up for this game.
Match Facts & Stats
Birmingham were unbeaten in their first six Premier League matches against Aston Villa (W4, D2), but Aston Villa have won the last six.
Villa have gone 254 minutes without scoring a league goal.
Villa have managed a joint low of just one goal from a set-piece this season.
Birmingham have only scored four times in their last six league matches.
Blues have won more Midlands derbies away from home (7) in the Premier League than they have at St Andrew's (5)
Referee: Howard Webb
Assistant referees: Stephen Child & Jake Collin
Fourth official: Mark Halsey
Good will overcome evil. 2-1 Blues
6/11 H: West Ham United
9/11 A: Stoke City
13/11 A: Manchester City
20/11 H: Chelsea