Preview: Birmingham v Inverness
02 August 2014
Birmingham complete their pre-season campaign against their toughest opponents ICT.
The Midlands side have opted for Inverness today as Lee Clark believes they play a similar style of football to Middlesbrough; who Blues kick off against next weekend.
Manager Lee Clark has been happy with his teams work ethic since returning from their holidays and it has shown in a 100% return so far. The latter games of the warm ups are about tactics and game plan so today should be no different.
Clark is hoping for a settled defence so a similar selection could be found at the back. But in terms of going forward the manager is set to experiment as the game goes on.
Please note only the Kop is open today; cash turnstiles.
Lee Clark told the official site:
'I`ve got options to change things but I would like to have a settled back five - goalkeeper and defence - because I think that was one of the areas we have to improve on from last season, in terms of conceding goals.
In the attacking part of the pitch as well you can change things depending on how the game is going. We`ve got players that can produce a bit of magic to get you a goal.
We`ve seen glimpses of some terrific interplay between the attacking players and all of these things are bubbling away under the surface.
John Hughes said:
It`s a step up against Birmingham. But if we want to go to places like Parkhead, Pittodrie or Tannadice and lock horns with these teams, we need to go to Birmingham and let them know we`re a match for them.
Birmingham City Team News:
Birmingham have a clean bill of health with Skipper Paul Robinson returning along with Spector; although it is unlikely either would play the whole game if they are involved.
Additionally Blues new boy Donny Johnstone is set to make his debut in this pre-season; having only taken part in an intra-squad friendly so far. The promising striker was reluctantly let go by Celtic to join Blues and former coach Alan Thompson.
Player to watch: Donaldson
Clayton Donaldson has delivered goals in every game he has played and is really giving Blues fans someone to believe in.
I do think there are other players worth watching but due to his consistent threat all pre-season he is my man to watch.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Team News:
Three players come in for Inverness for the game today, Nick Ross; Marley Watkins and Liam Polworth.
Player to watch: Shinnie
Graeme Shinnie is the brother of Andrew Shinnie and they have never lined up on opposing sides before!
I'm sure he will want to put in a performance to mark the occasion. The promising defender has been linked with a move away from Caley Thistle but he ignored the interest this summer.
Match Facts & Stats
From the official site:
- Unsurprisingly, this will be the first meeting between Blues and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
- Blues forward Andy Shinnie's younger brother Graeme is set to play for Caley Thistle.
- As well as Andy Shinnie, striker Adam Rooney arrived at St. Andrew's from the Caledonian Stadium. The former made 66 appearances, scoring 24 goals, between 2011 and 2013 while the latter made 120 appearances, scoring on 53 occasions, between 2008 and 2011.
- Inverness finished 5th in the 12-team Scottish Premier League last season.
- Inverness were only formed (as Caledonian Thistle F.C) as recently as 1994.
Birmingham have been doing well in pre-season so far and I don't see any reason why today will be any different. ICT will pass and keep the ball better than other teams Blues have played but I don't think they will have enough of it to trouble Birmingham. Their boss demands a lot from his players but beating Birmingham may be a bit of a tall order for the Scottish side. Blues could win by a few goals.
15:00 - Sky Bet Championship -Middlesbrough v Birmingham City
- Boss is beaming
- Middlesbrough men down
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