Birmingham v Portsmouth

18 August 2009 01:25
TEAM NEWS Birmingham have defensive problems with summer signings Scott Dann and Giovanny Espinoza both likely to miss out. Franck Queudrue will continue as a makeshift centre-back alongside Roger Johnson. Portsmouth manager Paul Hart has no fresh injury worries after their 1-0 loss to Fulham on Saturday. New signing Anthony Vanden Borre is still awaiting international clearance, while Steve Finnan and Herman Hreidarsson remain sidelined. Birmingham Suspended: Bowyer (3 of 3) Doubtful: Dann (thigh), Espinoza (thigh) Injured: M Bent (hamstring), D Murphy (fractured kneecap), Mutch (ankle), Ridgewell (broken leg), Taylor (ankle) Portsmouth Suspended: None Doubtful: None Injured: Finnan (hamstring), Hreidarsson (hamstring), Primus (ankle) MATCH PREVIEW Both sides slipped to narrow 1-0 defeats in their first matches of the campaign, but it's Alex McLeish who is likely to be the happier of the two managers with a solid display against Manchester United. You have just got to go out with the spirit we showed against Fulham Portsmouth manager, Paul Hart With so much off-field speculation surrounding Sulaiman Al Fahim's intended takeover, Paul Hart's side need points quickly to deflect some of the attention. Hart's team virtually picks itself thanks to his shallow squad of just 19. His frustration was increased further by the enforced absence for the Fulham game of new loan signing Anthony Vanden Borre who failed to get international clearance. It remains to be seen if he will feature for the trip to St Andrews. 606: DEBATE Have your say on Wednesday's match McLeish's incentives are strong as he looks for only his sixth win from 26 Premier League matches in charge at Birmingham. There have been 15 goals shared between these sides in the last four games but with Portsmouth shorn of attacking options, and Birmingham in need of defensive recruits, there won't be much between the two sides. MATCH FACTS Head-to-head • Birmingham's last home win against Portsmouth was a comprehensive 5-0 victory in January 2006. • It's been 12 matches and more than nine years since a 1-0 scoreline settled a match between the two sides. (Birmingham won, March 2000) • There's little between the sides in their eight previous Premier League meetings. Portsmouth have won three, Birmingham two, with three draws. Birmingham • Birmingham are trying to avoid losing their opening two Premier League matches for the second time. The first time was in the debut season in 2002. • Alex McLeish has led his side to five wins from 25 Premier League games so far. • If Birmingham score two more goals, they will have hit 200 in their Premier League history. They have conceded 256. • Roger Johnson could make his 300th club career start, while Martin Taylor is one short of 100 league appearances for the club. Gregory Vignal may face his former club. Portsmouth • Portsmouth have won just over a quarter of league matches under Paul Hart (four from 15) • If they lose it will be their 100th Premier League defeat. • It's 13 games since Portsmouth last tasted a league victory away from home. • If Kanu starts it will be his 150th in the league. LAST SEASON'S LEADING GOALSCORERS Kevin Phillips Birmingham Phillips: 15 goals (all league); Jerome: 10 goals (9 league) Niko Kranjcar Portsmouth Crouch: 16 goals (11 league); Kranjcar: 4 goals (3 league) MATCH OFFICIALS Referee: Lee Probert Assistant referees: Martin Yerby & Ceri Richards Fourth official: Steve Bennett LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS Birmingham (L0-1 v Man Utd, a): Hart, Carr, Roger Johnson, Queudrue, Vignal, Larsson (O'Shea 81), Ferguson, Carsley (Benitez 74), Fahey, McFadden, Jerome (O'Connor 65). Subs Not Used: Maik Taylor, Phillips, McSheffrey, Parnaby Portsmouth (L0-1 v Fulham, h): James, Kaboul, Wilson, Distin, Belhadj, Mullins, Diop (Kanu 76), Mokoena, Utaka (Nugent 87), Kranjcar, Piquionne. Subs Not Used: Begovic, Hughes, Basinas, Ward, Ritchie. MOST RECENT MEETING Portsmouth 4-2 Birmingham (12 March 2008) Portsmouth scorers: Defoe 6 pen, 9, Hreidarsson 49, Kanu 90 Birmingham scorers: Muamba 10, Larsson 40

Source: BBC_Sport