SCOUT'S REPORT: BIRMINGHAM CITY
Club News1st October
by Thomas Phillips
The Bluebirds host Birmingham City on Tuesday night, with both sides looking to carry momentum forward from their wins on the weekend.
Birmingham have had a mixed start to the season, gaining eleven points in the opening eight fixtures. Within those eight fixtures there have been some impressive wins against the likes of Bolton and Brighton who both have ambitions of promotion this season. The Blues, however, have had some major disappointments, such as a shock 5-0 home defeat to Barnsley.
On the weekend Birmingham beat top of the league Brighton with a stunning goal from former City favourite Chris Burke in the twenty-seventh minute. This goal proved to be enough on the day to gain all three points for the Midlands outfit and acts as a reminder to Cardiff that this will be another tough clash.
After the weekend's fixtures Birmingham find themselves lying fourteenth in the table - currently five points off top on eleven points thus far. They have conceded fourteen goals in total with seven coming on their travels. The win on the weekend was their first away from home, with the previous three fixtures ending with one draw and two losses.
The Birmingham squad has got plenty in the form of top-flight and international experience and quality. There are quality players from between the sticks right up to the strikers. With players still in their squad from their Premier League days and some impressive acquisitions since, they could field arguably one of the strongest starting elevens in the Championship.
England international Jack Butland currently holds the number one spot for Birmingham. With the high standards expected of him, he might be disappointed in conceding fourteen goals so far this term.
Top goal scorer so far for the Brummie outfit is Marlon King who has bagged four goals to date. He is not the only attacking threat in the squad with the towering Nikola Zigic in their ranks, Peter Lovenkrands at their disposal and the services of Swansea City's Leroy Lita on loan. All have scored this season. Goals have also been scored from their impressive midfielders Darren Ambrose and Chris Burke who are prone to scoring from outside the penalty area and can produce some spectacular finishes.
Cardiff City and Birmingham City have had 61 encounters to date with the English side having the slight advantage on 27 wins. The Bluebirds have won 22 games and only 12 games have ended in ties.
Last season was the first since the The Blues had their most recent relegation from the top-flight. Cardiff gained four points from the two fixtures, with a 1-0 win at home and a 1-1 draw in St. Andrew's.
Last Meeting: Birmingham City 1-1 Cardiff City (25/03/12)
After a 1-0 win earlier in the season at home at Cardiff City Stadium, Mark Hudson gained a point for The Bluebirds with a 78th minute equaliser. Erik Huseklepp has scored the opener just ten minutes earlier as both teams were vying for promotion places back in March.
Birmingham City: Myhill, Ramage, Caldwell, Ibáñez (Gomis, 72), Davies, Huseklepp (Townsend, 69), Elliott, N'Daw, Burke, Mutch, King. Subs not used: Doyle, Zigic, Redmond.
Cardiff City: Marshall, Turner, McNaughton, Hudson, Taylor, Cowie (Gestede, 72), Whittingham, Lawrence, Gunnarsson, McPhail (Miller, 84), Mason. Subs not used: Heaton, Blake, Earnshaw.
Listen to live and uninterrupted commentary of City v Blues from 7.15pm on Cardiff City Player