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Birmingham
vs.
Sunderland

St. Andrews

16/04/11

3pm

Sunderland in a relegation fight after such a bright start to the season? Yes, we have returned back to our old ways of limping over the finishing line.

Steve Bruce will make a return to the club that helped his managerial career start and will be hoping for nothing less than all three points.

Birmingham have been poor in the season and were lucky to grab a point at the Stadium in our first home game.

This game is massive for both clubs as a win for Sunderland will climb them to above 40 points and kickstart us to more points before the end of the season.

We have to support the lads from the first whistle as this game could make or break our season.

Vital Quotes: STEVE BRUCE

"I had two years at Birmingham as a player and six as a manager so it`s had a big chunk of my career.

"It`s always decent to go back. But like any former club you go to, it`s only decent if you get a result.

"There`s about 11 of us in the fight and we need a win.

"If we can get that, I would think that will see us safe.

"We`ve got my two former clubs over the next two games and they`re arguably our most important games of the season.

"If we can win them both, then we`ve got a great chance of finishing in the top 10. If we don`t, then we`re in trouble. It`s as simple as that.

"We know the importance of the game and we`re up against it."

"But in those times as a player or manager you`ve got to work hard, stick together and see if you can turn it around.

"I know we are capable of getting a result at Birmingham."

Birmingham Team News:

Zigic and Bentley could both return from injury and Roger Johnson should shake off a knock to the head for this tough clash.

Player to watch: Zigic

We cannot defend from corners or free kicks so having to mark Zigic will only make things harder.

We must ensure Turner and Onouha are on top form as we look to stop another defeat on the road.

Sunderland Team News:

Sunderland have been crippled yet again due to injuries.

Campbell and Bramble will both miss the rest of the season. Muntari will be out due to a calf injury and Bruce will replace him with the young and fresh Jack Colback.

Player to watch: Cattermole

He has been very, very average since his return from injury and he needs to pull his team-mates through with a good display or faces the backlash from a lot of angry fans.

If he can battle in the middle and set up chances we will all be happy, however he needs to avoid a booking as usual to perform to his best ability.

Match Facts & Stats

Sunderland have not won a top-flight match at St Andrew's since a 1-0 victory on 26 November 1983.

The Black Cats are winless in eight league matches, losing seven and drawing one (at Arsenal).

Birmingham have won five top-flight games at St Andrew's this term - Wigan and Blackpool are the only sides with fewer home victories.

Ref Watch:

Referee: Phil Dowd Assistant referees: Ceri Richards & Glenn Turner Fourth official: Mark Halsey

Match Prediction:

Birmingham 1 - 2 Sunderland We are not expected to win, we have hardly anyone on the bench to back us up incase of a bad game from the starting eleven but we MUST win this game.

Next Fixtures: Wigan (H)

Wigan arrive for yet another bottom of the table encounter.


Writer:Gary Johnson
Date:Friday April 15 2011
Time: 7:09PM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Chelsea 33 25 3 5 78 40
2 Spurs 33 22 8 3 74 47
3 Liverpool 34 19 9 6 66 28
4 Man City 33 19 8 6 65 28
5 Man Utd 33 17 13 3 64 26
6 Arsenal 32 18 6 8 60 24
7 Everton 34 16 10 8 58 23
8 WBA 33 12 8 13 44 -3
9 Southampton 32 11 7 14 40 -5
10 Watford 33 11 7 15 40 -17
11 Stoke 34 10 9 15 39 -13
12 Crystal Palace 34 11 5 18 38 -8
13 AFC Bournemouth 34 10 8 16 38 -14
14 West Ham 34 10 8 16 38 -15
15 Leicester City 33 10 7 16 37 -13
16 Burnley 34 10 6 18 36 -16
17 Hull City 34 9 6 19 33 -31
18 Swansea 34 9 4 21 31 -29
19 Middlesbrough 34 5 12 17 27 -19
20 Sunderland 33 5 6 22 21 -33
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