Saturday, 6 February 2021

Birmingham are just as desperate as AFCB for a win

Birmingham City are sitting right above the Championship's relegation zone and maybe feeling they are in with a great chance in this game when look at how Bournemouth have been playing in their last few games. Aitor Karanka would love to get a win over Jonathan Woodgate, who he tutored while at Middlesbrough, and he'll know that a defeat could leave Birmingham in the bottom three. Bournemouth will know that if they can perform to somewhere near their best, this is a game they should win, but a new manager, new signings and a lack of confidence could make lead them to further turmoil.

Will we see a new and revitalised AFCB?

Birmingham have brought in a few new players in January. They picked up Rakeem Harper and Yan Valery on loan, while Keyendrah Symmonds and Sam Cosgrove have signed permanent deals with the Blues. Birmingham have been having trouble scoring goals. Jeremie Bela is top scorer with three, along with Scot Hogan, but Lucas Jutkiewicz could keep his place up front, while Jon Toral could play just in behind the main striker.

The Disrupted Season (2019-20) completes the story of Eddie Howe's reign at AFC Bournemouth 
- it's available now for £11.49 as a paperback - visit Amazon to order

A 0-0 draw against Wycombe Wanderers away in Birmingham's last match might seem like AFCB have nothing to fear. But Bournemouth will be doubting themselves with the run of results that they have had. You have to go back to 16 December to find Birmingham scoring more than one goal in a league match and even then they lost 3-2 to Cardiff City. Their last away win was against Middlesbrough on 16 January, but then you have to go back to 9 December when they got a great 1-2 win over Reading. Yet, if Bournemouth had to pick a side to play next, I think Birmingham would be pretty high up in their wish list as they have only won one of their last 10 games.

Bournemouth themselves have a couple of injury concerns with Solanke a doubt and Stanislas, who has an ankle problem. It may mean that Shane Long is given a start and Brooks and Danjuma might take up the wing positions if Stanislas is struggling. It seems that Cameron Carter-Vickers was putting himself about in training and he must fancy his chances for replacing Chris Mepham who had a shocking moment last game to give Sheffield Wednesday their opening goal. Midfield could also see a change or two with Ben Pearson perhaps given a start after the flat performance of Wilshere last game when he was subbed at half-time.


Everybody should start with a clean sheet with a new manager, but I am sure Woodgate will know Bournemouth's main players well enough to ask them for a reaction rather than make too many changes. Tindall couldn't make them perform, what can Woodgate do? We'll have a good idea after this game. He'll boost his chances of becoming permanent manager enormously if he can find what is missing in this Cherries side. Here's hoping, as it seems a long time ago when the Cherries last won a game.

Birmingham City Away Form

AFCB Home Form

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Terry, Vieira, Howe, Lampard - is Woodgate really top choice?

Possible AFCB line-up
AFCB Subs: Dennis, Rico, Mepham, Smith, Billing,
Wilshere, Riquelme, Surridge, Anthony 

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