So we’ve had just under 2 weeks to digest and review our first 6 games of the new season, are we ready to get back into it? Regardless of your answer it’s time for Club Football to take centre stage once again and what better way to do it with being under the lights at St Andrews on a Friday night!
After failing to pick up a win in the first 6 games of the season (I’m still not sure how) Blues will be hoping to put that right against Midland rivals West Bromwich Albion – the perfect game to right a few wrongs and show what you’re made of.
Blues v Baggies is always an interesting one – some like to think there’s no bad blood between the two sides and we should all joy in on a rendition of “Sh*t on the Villa”. For me it’s completely different case; whilst we aren’t considered massive rivals at all this is still a game about being the pride of your respected area and nothing would be better than to get our first win of the season against WBA as well as some local pride.
If Blues are going to come out on top of this one they need to put in a proper “Blues” performance. You might think what does he mean by that, dominate a game and lose in the closing stages? Absolutely not. Blues need to show some true grit, determination and heart if they’re going to pick up their first 3 points of the season. The type of game like that Friday night at Molineux under Zola when it was all hands to the deck, fighting for each other, the badge and most importantly the fans.
West Brom are definitely the favourites going into this one and so they should be with the quality their squad possesses, but there’s on weakness to their side that even their fans are concerned about – the middle of the park. Yes the have genuine ability in their midfield, but do they have the legs? Just at a quick glance at their midfield shows it’s a very ageing position, this could be a huge factor in the game on Friday night (IF) Blues can take advantage of it.
Monk will need to set his midfield up to be robust and dominant in terms of getting themselves about the pitch and first to every ball, something we’ve been very good at in most of the games so far this season. If Blues can put in the performances seen against Swansea and Forest then I’m sure we can easily match what WBA have to throw at us. I’m sure Monk will have taken the break to ensure his players will be bang on the money to do so.
Albion also set up with 3 centre backs and wingbacks either side so it’s imperative that Maghoma and Jota are firing on all cylinders causing havoc to West Brom’s defence.
How will the teams likely line up for Fridays match up:
I don’t see many changes coming from Monk and it’ll be virtually the same side that drew with QPR, bar one change in the middle for me.
Colin, Morrison, Dean, Pedersen
Jota, G Gardner, C Gardner, Maghoma
Personally I wouldn’t start Adams and I’d like to see Mahoney given a crack at the whip but I think Monk will favour this line up.
As for the Albion it’ll be very much the same side that toppled Gary Rowett’s struggling stoke:
Dawson, Hegazi, Bartley
Phillips, Livermore, Brunt, Gibbs
As I said before there’s no doubting who’s the favourite going into this one, but that means absolutely nothing in a game between to local sides. My head says West Brom will come away with 3 points and my heart is telling me Blues will nick it. Therefore I’m going to have to go for a 1-1 draw and Blues will have to wait for their first win of the season another day.
Enjoy the game and Keep Right On!