MATCH FACTS: CARDIFF vs BIRMINGHAM
Club News20th March
Cardiff City vs Birmingham City
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
Date: Saturday, 21st March 2015, 3:00pm
The Bluebirds will look to build on a hard-fought point against AFC Bournemouth when Gary Rowett’s Birmingham City visit Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
CARDIFF CITY PLAYER
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- Birmingham City are unbeaten in the last four matches, but haven’t won an away league game since Dec 28th
- In the last eight meetings between the sides, neither has won by more than a goal
- Kiko Macheda could return to the City squad to face his former side on Saturday
- Tom Adeyemi signed for Cardiff from the Blues in the summer
- Cardiff have picked up ten points from the last six games
KEY MEN: Clayton Donaldson & David Cotterill
When it comes to Gary Rowett’s side, it is a difficult task to separate the impact made by Clayton Donaldson and Welsh international David Cotterill since both men arrived at St Andrew’s last summer. Signed from Brentford in July on a free transfer, few predicted the impact Donaldson would have in his first full season at Championship level. The former Hull City man has twelve league goals to his name - bagging another in the League Cup – for a strike rate of roughly one in three this campaign. Cotterill joined the Midlands side from Doncaster Rovers, who were relegated in place of Birmingham after Paul Caddis’ last gasp equaliser on the final day of 2013/14. Cotterill has netted eight times from midfield, while supplying seven assists to his teammates.
ONE TO WATCH: Demarai Gray
Academy Player of the Season 2013/14, England U18 & U19 international, a first team debut at 17 and a two-and-a-half year contract signed when still an apprentice - just a number of facts that show how highly thought of Demarai Gray is in the footballing world despite his tender age of 18. Gray was picked this week for the England U19 squad, who take on Denmark, Azerbaijan and France in quick succession. The young winger has netted on four occasions this term for the Blues, including a superb first career hat-trick against Reading.
RECENT FORM (ALL COMPETITIONS)
Cardiff City: WLWLWD
Last time out: Cardiff City 1-1 AFC Bournemouth – Tuesday, 17th March 2015, Sky Bet Championship
Harry Arter handed the visiting Cherries a one-goal lead. After a host of well-worked passing moves failed to break down Cardiff’s defence, the No. 8 smashed an unstoppable left-footed drive into the top corner of Simon Moore’s net. However, Cardiff recovered and looked more comfortable as the game wore on, Bruno Ecuele Manga capped off a fine period of intense pressure by the home side fifteen minutes after the interval to bury Peter Whittingham’s corner. While both sides had chances late in the match, a draw was arguably a fair result between the high flying Cherries and the Bluebirds.
Cardiff City: Moore, Fabio, Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Kennedy (Ralls), Gunnarsson (Adeyemi), Whittingham, Noone, Revell, Jones (Doyle). Subs Not Used: Wilson, Malone, O'Keefe, Gabbidon.
Birmingham City: LLWWDD
Last time out: Birmingham City 1-1 Huddersfield Town – Saturday, 14th March 2015, Sky Bet Championship
Similarly, Birmingham drew at home to take another step toward survival – though Huddersfield will feel similarly content with a point given the form of the bottom three. Welshman David Cotterill fired Gary Rowett’s side into the lead after just ten minutes but Joe Lolley levelled by the half-hour mark. Birmingham had won each of their last two home games 1-0 but they couldn’t find a second against the Terriers, who find themselves nine points from danger. Darren Randolph kept the Blues in it with a save from Joel Lynch’s header but they could not press on and secure three points.
Birmingham City: Randolph, Caddis, Spector, Kierman, Grounds, Tesche, Davis, Cotterill, Shinnie (Thomas), Gray (Dyer), Donaldson (Zigic). Subs Not Used: Robinson, Novak, Hancox, Doyle.
LAST COMPETITIVE MEETING
2014/15: Saturday, 8th November, Championship: Birmingham City 0-0 Cardiff City
Gary Rowett continued his unbeaten start as Blues manager with a stalemate at St. Andrew’s. Federico Macheda and Birmingham substitute Wes Thomas both had the ball in the back of the net only for the assistant’s flag to rule offside as neither team could break the deadlock. Thomas was sent off late on but Cardiff were unable to capitalise in the short period remaining, taking a point back to South Wales.
Birmingham City: Randolph, Caddis, Morrison, Robinson, Grounds, Gleeson, Davis, Cotterill, Shinnie (Thomas), Arthur (Gray), Donaldson. Subs Not Used: Eardley, Edgar, Shea, Reilly, Doyle.
Cardiff City: Marshall, Brayford, Turner, S. Morrison, Connolly, Noone, Whittingham, Gunnarsson (Adeyemi), Kim (Harris), Jones (Macheda), Le Fondre. Subs Not Used: Moore, Fabio, Manga, Ralls.