Blues Preview vs Millwall (A)

Well another year goes by and it’s another annual loss in B6, but the players showed something that we haven’t seen for a long time and that’s fight and pride in wearing the shirt.

Yes the result could have been very different and it was an afternoon of defensive frailties from both sides, yes the referee made some very questionable decisions which turned the tide of the game, but we move on and head into the next game knowing that this side have pride, belief and fight in abundance.

Lukas Jutkiewicz has continued his rich vein of form and now has nine goals in his last nine game – he is also the first player since Marlon King to reach double figures before the end of November, could Adams possibly do the same? We’ll see at The Den on Wednesday.

Wednesday is going to prove to be a tough task, as expected from a Millwall team at home. That being said The Den has been a very happy hunting ground for us and we’ve had some very memorable moments there, until last years horror show under a certain Steve Cotterill’s reign. That is one thing we cannot afford to do this time around and I’m sure Monk will not let that be the case after shipping 10 goals in our last three games.

Millwall on the other hand are having a very contrasting season to last and find themselves sat 21st place on 17 points and narrowly avoided a loss to Bolton at home thanks to a 82nd minute equaliser – nevertheless we cannot underestimate anyone, especially those below us as thats where our performances haven’t been brilliant this season. 

The Blues need to use this game as a springboard and get themselves back on track after a few disappointing results, I just hope we don’t have a derby game hangover and see a very subdued game. We all know how one win can change the entire outlook in this division and we have some very winnable games coming up, so let’s hope we can get ourselves on a run, keep punching well above our weight and stay in close contention to those play off places.

In terms of team news it’s all very much the same from the weekend; Jota doubtful as he wasn’t training all of last week in the build up to Sunday and Monk hasn’t give an indication on a timeframe for how long he’ll be on the sidelines, but the sooner he’s back the better. Vassell will slowly start getting integrated back into the side and we could see him in the team sheet come December, which in itself as almost like a new signing. One big bonus is that we’ll have Gary Gardner back in the middle of the park and the past two games have shown what a crucial player he is to this current Birmingham City side. I’d fully expect him to replace his brother, who seemed to struggle on Sunday. 

Here’s my predicted line up for Blues:

Camp

Colin, Morrison, Dean, Pedersen

Mahoney, Kieftenbeld, G Gardner, Mags

Adams, Jutkiewicz

It’s imperative that Pedersen plays in his more natural full-back position and Maghoma comes back into the fold, due to the fact Wes Harding really struggled on that left hand side and it was proved divided when three of the four goals conceded came from the left. As far as everything else is concerned we just need more of the same from our two strikers who have clearly found a great partnership in each other. 

Now I didn’t do an overall prediction for our last game – because I didn’t want to jinx anything and I honestly couldn’t call it due to the nature of the game, but I will be for this one and I’m going to stick my neck out and say 2-0 Birmingham with Adams to get both of them.

A clean sheet would be a major confidence booster for this defence and I can see them really putting a solid performance in after being nowhere nears as resolute as we’ve seen for lengthy parts of the season. 

Hope you can enjoy your week Bluenoses, a win on Wednesday would definitely help that!

As always, Keep Right On! 

Picture Credit: Birmingham City

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