Writer: Chris Handy
Date:Saturday February 8 2014
Saturday 08 February
Struggling Birmingham City (18th) travel away to Charlton Athletic (22nd) today in a bottom of the table cash; Lee Clark`s men have won just once in 2014 a 3-0 win in the FA Cup. Charlton have had some pitch worries in the build-up to the game but they passed a pitch inspection this morning; the London club are unbeaten in their last 3 home games.
Lee Clark will be glad to see the back of St Andrews after a severe start to the New Year. On the other hand Blues have won 4 of their last 6 away, a stark contrast to their recent form. The Birmingham manager will be keen to tell his players Charlton have not won in the league since Boxing Day.
Charlton has recently been taken over by Belgium businessman Roland Duchatelet, he has been instrumental in bringing in players from clubs he already owns. Manager Chris Powell has been forced to deny claims he has been instructed to play an on loan Standard Liege keeper.
Blues on the other hand suffered 16 changes during the January transfer window; a turbulent time still hangs over the playing staff at the club.
Today`s home side have picked up 13 points at home this season, the same number as Birmingham, only Charlton have played at home three times less than their opponents.
Lee Clark - 'We understand we're in a precarious position and we`re going there trying to win a football match and that`s our only concern. They obviously beat us at St. Andrew`s earlier in the season and it was a really poor performance from us on the day. We know it`s going to be tough because Chris Powell always demands high standards from his players. The pitch isn`t conducive to good football. It`s going to be a battle and everybody has got to be prepared to roll their sleeves up.'
Lawrie Wilson returns to the Charlton team in time for the visit of Birmingham, he has served a suspension after being set off against Doncaster. Wiggins remains a doubt, Solly and Cort are ruled out of today`s game.
The defender returns today, he is no doubt a big player for Charlton and they will be hoping from a reassured performance from him (he has recently been signed to a new deal).
Federico Macheda and Chris Burke both grabbed goals from the bench last weekend and will be hoping for a chance in the starting line-up. Aaron Martin also will be expecting to play after a reasonably good display at centre back after replacing the injured Tom Thorpe.
Captain Paul Robinson returns to the squad after serving out a two-game ban. Manchester United loanee Tom Thorne is set to miss a couple of weeks the club`s site has said. Mitch Hancox is available following his ankle problem. Matt Green (knee), Jonathan Spector (thigh), David Murphy (knee), Akwasi Asante (hamstring), Amari'i Bell (knee) and Neal Eardley (knee) all missing.
Should he start he could change the way Blues look today. Against Derby he kept the ball well and Blues got forward far more effectively with him on the field.
- These teams last met in November, Charlton won 1-0.
- Blues haven't beaten Charlton since 2008.
- Birmingham haven't won at The Valley since 2003.
Both teams are filled with a number of new players, Birmingham I think have the better of them, providing Clark doesn't play the diamond in midfield it could be a 2-0 to Birmingham. Lets be positive.
Tue 11 Feb, Watford, Sky Bet Championship, (A) K.O 19:45
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Date:Saturday February 8 2014
Birmingham Urged to Shoot! (Tuesday April 15 2014)
Match Day Poll: Birmingham Could Sink Forest (Thursday April 10 2014)
Birmingham Lose Novak to Injury (Thursday April 10 2014)
Frustrated Clark Bemoans Defeat At Boro (Wednesday April 9 2014)
Nine Man Boro See Off Birmingham. (Tuesday April 8 2014)
Stats: Middlesbrough v Blues (Tuesday April 8 2014)
Middlesbrough Host Away-Day Specialists (Tuesday April 8 2014)
Match Day Poll: Middlesbrough v Birmingham (Monday April 7 2014)
Stats: Doncaster Rovers v Blues (Saturday April 5 2014)
Blues Set To Take On Donny (Friday April 4 2014)
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