There’s not been that much chatter ahead of the trip to St. Andrews. It’s partly due to Latics’ form, partly that it’s not the most inspiring fixture, partly because of events elsewhere, but I reckon, mostly because no-one really dare think how we might feel come tea time tonight. Any way, here are the five things we’d be talking about in the pub before the game, if we were going anywhere near either.
It’s a must, must, must win
Well, aren’t they all? Of course not, but if one doesn’t come soon then things will be looking really desperate. Things are so close that only draws in the Bolton/Wolves and Burnley/Pompey games won’t shake things up at the bottom. I think the maths means we can’t drop into the relegation places, but more importantly a win would put a whole game buffer between us and 18th place.
Games between these two usually go the way of the home team, but they didn’t up at the DW so maybe, just maybe Latics can swing this one.
Mad Max ‘89
It might have been ’90 or it might have been ’91, but it was a draw the first time I went to St. Andrews. My over-riding memory though is of the post-apocalyptic wasteland that we had to walk across to get to the ground. Birmingham had a rum old reputation from the antics of the Zulus and you could see them running riot across here.
The truth is more likely that they used to run riot in the streets that used to be where the scrap-land was and that the bricks that littered it had possibly never been chucked towards opposition fans, but the thought certainly made me walk a little bit quicker.
Can Moses Part the Blue Sea?
Birmingham’s defensive record at home is up there with the best in the League but (perhaps bizarrely) Latics’ away goals are the highest outside of the top five. Birmingham aren’t prolific goalscorers on their patch but, well we all know what our goals against column looks like. It’s definitely looking like a draw.
But the midlands have been a happy hunting ground for Roberto Martinez this season. With 2-0s against Villa and Wolves under his belt he’ll be looking for more of the same this afternoon. It looks like he’ll have to do it without the inspiration for that win at Molineux. McCarthy might be out, but there’s every chance that will pave the way for a first start for the lad that lots of tics are laying their hopes of survival on.
Let’s hope that they aren’t disappointed.
Bridging the gap
Your best mate has been knocking off your missus (ex or otherwise), you’ve given up a chance of glory because of it. You never really want to see him again but the fixture list thrusts you together the week after you’ve announced your international retirement. Do you:
A. Prove yourself the better man, concentrate on your game and make sure your team beats the other one
B. Go to pieces, put in a dodgy performance letting yourself and your team mates down
C. Play your best for 90 minutes and then as the clock runs down make a dash forward ending up with a knee high, studs up challenge that puts you out for four games but your ex-mate for longer.
D. Snot him as he walks past in the pre-match line up
Nothing to do with Latics of course, but all eyes will be on Stamford Bridge this afternoon just to see what happens. Odds on it being a damp squib?
That’s your lot, enjoy your game, fingers crossed and all that.
You can find the match preview here.
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