Thursday, June 21, 2018

Premier League preview: Birmingham City v Wolves

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Apr 2011


Two Midlands relegation candidates coming off heavy defeats will meet on Sunday, when Birmingham welcome Wolves to St Andrew’s.

Mick McCarthy’s Wolves side have been entrenched in the bottom three for much of the season, and are sitting second from the bottom with four games to play – one point short of safety after their 3-0 mauling at Stoke on Tuesday.

Birmingham, meanwhile, are faring slightly better in 15th place, but are only four points clear of the drop zone.

Last Saturday, they ran into a rampant Liverpool outfit at Anfield, finding themselves on the wrong end of a 5-0 thrashing.

It has been a season of contrasting fortunes for Alex McLeish’s men – with their Carling Cup triumph over Arsenal on February 27 offset by some poor form in the league that has them in danger of becoming only the second side ever to win the league cup and be relegated in the same campaign.

In their only other meeting this season, a Stephen Hunt goal on the stroke of half-time was enough to secure Wolves a 1-0 win at Molineux.

Both managers have injury concerns, with Birmingham defenders Scott Dann and Martin Jiranek, plus striker Obafemi Martins all in doubt.

McLeish is hopeful big striker Nikola Zigic can overcome his groin and hip problems in time to play, but Enric Valles, James McFadden and reserve goalkeeper Maik Taylor are unlikely to play again this season.

First choice ‘keeper Ben Foster, who hobbled off with a thigh injury just before half-time in the Liverpool match, is expected to play

For Wolves, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is doubtful after suffering a recurrence of his hamstring injury, but Steven Fletcher could be available despite limping off against Stoke with a knee problem.

Irish duo Kevin Doyle and Hunt are nearing returns from their respective hamstring and hernia complaints, but are long shots to play against Birmingham.


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