Writer: Christopher Handy
Date:Saturday April 26 2014
26 April 2014
Birmingham City host Leeds today, with Blues needing all three points to help with their survival struggle. Leeds are lumbered in midfield with nowhere to go until next season.
Despite a resurgence in the last few weeks Leeds have still lost seven of their last 10. Last time out they were nudged to a 2-0 loss by Nottingham Forest.
Lee Clark knows his team have clambered just 2 wins in their last 10, whilst on the back of three defeats in a row Birmingham will again be hoping to end their home humiliation against Leeds United.
Birmingham fans will be casting their nervous eyes over to Wigan today as they host Blackpool. Wigan have to win to remain safe within the top six. Blackpool share the same points with Birmingham but with significantly worse GD.
Barnsley are not quite beaten yet either, they travel to Middlesbrough hoping to improve on their 39 points.
A win could put Birmingham as high as 18th.
'We're trying to do everything possible to get the points on the board that will keep us in the Championship. I know people talk about the dismantling of a relationship between the manager and his players which has never been the case here and certainly would never be the case here, no matter what happens.
'There's total belief and focus in the group. There's a lot of hurt by what's happened over the course of the season and with certain results but we also know that over the course of the season we've shown that we are a good team and there's good players in there.
I've seen Brian McDermott's quotes in the last few days since they lost to Nottingham Forest and he was saying that the squad needs a big overhaul so I'd imagine that the incentive for his players is whether they want to stay and be a part of the future for Leeds United.
What we have to stress is that we've got a very young group. It's into double figure with regards to players who are playing at this level for the first time. When they are all put in the mix together then it becomes quite tough for them because you need experienced players there all the time but sometimes when you've got to let them out together it's always going to give us issues.'
We're looking to start the game really well. We didn't do that against Leeds and it really cost us.
We beat Blackpool and Barnsley and they were really important games, we needed to win those games.
Its going to be a dog fight down there at the bottom.
Clark welcomes back Tom Adeyemi to the team, he hasn't played over easter. Spector also is a possibility.
Mitch Hancox made the bench but didn't start last game, he may be starting today.
Packwood, Howard, Lovenkrands and Novak are all doubts for the game.
Its well known Blues are generally good enough going forward, its the lads in defence today that need to stand up and be firm.
Thorpe, Packwood, Spector and Martin are the possible centre backs today and they need a big performance.
Via Vital Leeds - Stephen Warnock and Michael Tonge must be doubts. They both went off injured on Monday. Sam Byram, Marius Zaliukas and David Norris all missed the game on Monday through injury and are not expected to be back.
Via Vital Leeds - It can only be Ross McCormack. 29-goals this season is the reason why we are not relegated already.
He has led by example all season in the Leeds attack. It will be interesting to see who plays alongside him on Saturday as he has enjoyed more success playing alongside Matt Smith and not Noel Hunt, who partnered him on Monday.
- Leeds won the earlier meeting 4-0 at Elland Road in October.
- Birmingham have lost their last three games, conceding eight goals in the process.
- Leeds have won two of their last three games, after winning only one of their previous 12 games.
Birmingham's last home game is on Tuesday against a Wigan team with everything to play for.
It could be a much tougher game; which makes this home fixture all the more vital!
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Date:Saturday April 26 2014
Stats: Wigan Athletic v Birmingham City (Saturday August 30 2014)
Wigan Destroy Birmingham (Saturday August 30 2014)
Rosler Respects Birmingham (Saturday August 30 2014)
Edgar Big on Birmingham Life (Saturday August 30 2014)
Birmingham Visit Wigan (Saturday August 30 2014)
Man in Charge: David Webb (Saturday August 30 2014)
Scout Focus: Vital Wigan (Friday August 29 2014)
Notts County Sign Birmingham Youngster (Friday August 29 2014)
Video: Blues Focus Episode 4 (Friday August 29 2014)
Forssell Solo Effort (Friday August 29 2014)
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