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Match Previews

PREVIEW: BIRMINGHAM CITY

17 January 2014

Ben Barrett previews the trip to Birmingham City

Yeovil Town are back in Sky Bet Championship action this Saturday as the Glovers make the trip up the M5 to face Lee Clark’s Birmingham City.

The Blues and the Glovers have already met twice this season and they have certainly not been quiet affairs, but more of that later.

The Glovers are heading to the midlands joint bottom of the table and only above Barnsley on goal difference, while Birmingham won’t exactly be sitting easy in 17th place.

The Blues sit eight points above the relegation zone, but a result in the Glovers’ favour this weekend will have them looking nervously over their shoulders.

It’s no secret that Yeovil are on the look out for extra squad members for the rest of their championship survival campaign but for now, Gary Johnson takes his squad into battle without any additions.

Dan Seaborne’s loan deal with Coventry was switched to a permanent deal in midweek, so his time at Huish Park has come to an end.

Birmingham have had a few ins and outs already this month, free agent Brian Howard has been signed on a short term deal while former Glovers’ hero Dan Burn has returned to Fulham to be part of their first team squad.

Elsewhere, Darren Ambrose has also left St Andrews, signing for Greek side, Apollon Smyrni.

The Blue have also got a couple of injury issues ahead of Saturday’s game, Peter Lovenkrands and Tom Adeyemi will both miss out for sure as will joint top scorer, Kyle Bartley.

Lee Novak also has a hip problem but should be ok to feature in the squad.

For Yeovil, the injury list is significantly shorter, Sam Hoskins has been missing recently and long term absentee Nathan Ralph are going to be out once more.

One area where Yeovil may have a slight upper hand is in the fitness department, Yeovil have had a whole week to recover and prepare for the fixture while Birmingham had to negotiate a tricky FA Cup replay against Bristol Rovers.

It was easy enough in the end for the Blues who won 3-0 on the night to progress to the fourth round.

Their league form hasn’t been such plain sailing, however, they fell to a 1-0 defeat against Brighton last time out in the league and prior to that was a series of three draws in four games.

Yeovil’s form doesn’t make for pretty reading, four defeats in a row in the league with only the drubbing of Leyton Orient in the cup providing the silver lining.

If there is a positive to take, it’s the return of goal scoring form of James Hayter and the two goals in two games from Keiffer Moore, who will be hoping for a place in the starting 11 on Saturday.

As mentioned earlier the two sides have met twice already this season, both at Huish Park.

The Blues were the first visitors to Huish Park as a Championship venue this season and a Dan Seaborne own goal was all the separated the sides, despite Dan Burn’s efforts to claim the winning goal as his own.

The teams met again in the Capital One Cup and it all got very feisty.

The final score reads 3-3, with Yeovil losing out on penalties, but the stories go far beyond that.

Luke Ayling scored his first ever Yeovil goal during the extra 30 minutes, but the main story was surrounding Birmingham’s third and final equaliser.

Birmingham were incensed by Byron Webster’s 90 minute strike which they believed should have been returned to them after the ball was put out of play for a Birmingham injury.

After no physio came on, Yeovil decided that there was no need to return the ball, instead playing on.

Following, much deliberation Gary Johnson ordered Yeovil to allow Birmingham to walk the ball in to an empty net to force the game to penalties.

In the end, Hoskins, Ed Upson and Jamie McAlister all missed their spot kicks and Yeovil exited the cup.

We can only hope for none of that kind of shenanigans this time around, league points are at stake and both sides will want the spoils from this encounter.

Tickets are available on the day at the ground, but for those not making the trip, Glovers Player will have the coverage and all the post-match reaction will be available on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.

Tickets for the FA Cup game at Southampton are also on general sale as of today (Friday) and supporters are advised not to hang about, as over 1600 have already gone to season ticket holders.

Famous Fans.
Mike Skinner (Singer, The Streets), Jasper Carrott (Comedian) and Snoop Dogg was pictured in a Birmingham City shirt in 2011!

A foot in both camps.
Andros Townsend has spent time on loan with both sides, Howard Forinton, Darren Purse, Jerry Gill as well as a certain Dan Burn.

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