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Premier League

  • 16 April 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • St. Andrew's Stadium, Birmingham
  • Referee: P. Dowd
  • • Attendance: 28108
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Birmingham City - Sunderland Preview: Visitors seek first win in nine Premier League fixtures

Birmingham City - Sunderland Preview: Visitors seek first win in nine Premier League fixtures

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Wave of League Cup winning optimism ebbing away for hosts as they seek crucial victory in fight for survival against Steve Bruce's free-falling side, who are in danger of the drop


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PROBABLE LINE-UPS
Birmingham City: Foster; Carr, Davies, Johnson, Parnaby; Larsson, Ferguson, Gardner, Bowyer; Jerome, Phillips.

Sunderland: Gordon; Onuoha, Ferdinand, Turner, Bardsley; Henderson, Muntari, Cattermole, Zenden; Welbeck; Gyan.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • In 115 meetings in all competitions, Sunderland have won 52 games to Birmingham's 40, with 23 games drawn.
  • Roger Johnson's concussion-enforced substitution at half-time against Blackburn Rovers was the first 45 minutes of Premier League football he has missed for Birmingham since he joined the club in 2009.
  • Wigan Athletic are the only team with a worse goals scored record in the league this season than Sunderland and Birmingham.
  • Sunderland are the worst team in the league, in terms of form, at present with just one point picked up from a possible 24.
  • Phil Bardsley's goal in the 3-2 defeat to West Bromwich Albion last weekend was the first scored in the league by a Sunderland player in more than 450 minutes.
  • If league games ended at half-time, Sunderland would be in a comfortable seventh place in the table.
  • Birmingham have won just six of the 14 league games this season in which they have scored first.
  • Sunderland's record of 12 clean sheets has given them the fifth best total in the league this season.
  • Steve Bruce's side have made four injury-enforced substitutions before the second half in their last three league games.
  • Sunderland have scored nine goals in nine league games since Darren Bent was sold compared to 26 goals in 22 league games before his exit.
LAST MEETING

August 14, 2010: Sunderland 2-2 Birmingham City

A late Liam Ridgewell leveller saw the spoils shared between the teams at the Stadium of Light on the opening day of the season.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Ben FosterGoalkeeper
2Stephen CarrDefender
14Roger JohnsonDefender
6Liam RidgewellDefender
2Stuart ParnabyDefender
7Sebastian LarssonMidfielder
12Barry FergusonMidfielder
8Craig GardnerMidfielder
4Lee BowyerMidfielder
9Kevin PhillipsStriker
30Cameron JeromeStriker
13Colin DoyleGoalkeeper
6Curtis DaviesDefender
5David BentleyMidfielder
8Keith FaheyMidfielder
13Aliaksandr HlebMidfielder
18Jordon MutchMidfielder
27Matt DerbyshireStriker
22Simon MignoletGoalkeeper
15Nedum OnuohaDefender
6Michael TurnerDefender
2Phil BardsleyDefender
27Ahmed El MohamadyMidfielder
14Jordan HendersonMidfielder
33Lee CattermoleMidfielder
14Jack ColbackMidfielder
28Stéphane SessegnonMidfielder
19Danny WelbeckStriker
3Asamoah GyanStriker
1Craig GordonGoalkeeper
7Boudewijn ZendenMidfielder
17Steed MalbranqueMidfielder
16C. RiverosMidfielder
7David MeylerMidfielder
31Ryan NobleStriker
38Craig LynchStriker
Players to Watch
Kevin Phillips
Kevin Phillips
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Any game against Sunderland will always elicit emotion in Phillips' heart. That the Black Cats legend can still strike fear into the heart of his former club's defence at 37 is testament to his enduring lethality.

The poacher has provided the remedy to Birmingham's scoring ills in recent weeks. Manager Alex McLeish will hope Phillips can repeat his antics against Bolton Wanderers in the league and FA Cup on Saturday.
Asamoah Gyan
Asamoah Gyan
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 3
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
When Bent was released to Aston Villa, Sunderland were supposed to have Asamoah Gyan in place to fill the gap. Despite the Ghana international's recent star turn against England, the goals have dried up for him in the north east.

A two-month dry spell for the £13 million man has come at the worst possible time. Gyan must start to get back on the scoresheet if something is to be salvaged from Sunderland's season.
Prediction
When two sides bang out of form meet, the margins of victory are guaranteed to be slight. With relegation-induced nerves holding each club back, the stage is set for master predator Phillips to keep his head and hit a crucial win for the Blues.
Editor's Prediction

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