Birmingham v West Ham

05 November 2010 11:20
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish may recall fit-again striker Cameron Jerome, who returned to the bench at Aston Villa.McLeish deployed Nikola Zigic as a lone striker at Villa Park, but may opt for a more attacking formation against the Premier League's bottom side. [LNB]West Ham hope that Matthew Upson will return from a hamstring problem. [LNB]Fellow defender Manuel da Costa should play despite hurting his ankle at Arsenal, but midfielder Mark Noble is out after having his appendix removed. [LNB][LNB]Birmingham[LNB]Injured: McFadden (knee) [LNB]West Ham[LNB]Doubtful: Da Costa (ankle), Upson (hamstring) [LNB]Injured: Collison, Hines & Kurucz (all knee), Hitzlsperger (thigh), Noble (appendix) [LNB][LNB] MATCH PREVIEW The last time West Ham dropped out of the top flight, in 2003, their fate was sealed by a final-day draw at Birmingham. The spectre of relegation again looms large for the Premier League's bottom side, now run by Blues' former owners. [LNB]David Sullivan and David Gold return to St Andrew's for the first time on Saturday, with the latter unsure what reaction they will receive from home fans. They are unlikely to be warmly welcomed in the boardroom; Gold this week reignited his feud with Blues vice-chairman Peter Pannu, branding him "disgusting". Birmingham's current owners called in the Economic Crime Squad to investigate paperwork generated by the previous regime. [LNB] We are not in a good situation in the league, but we are in a good situation with our performances so we need to take more points like we deserve West Ham boss Avram Grant West Ham manager Avram Grant is refusing to panic despite his team's lowly position, insisting performances have been better than results would suggest. However, if the Hammers lose on Saturday they will have fewer points than Grant's Portsmouth side did at this stage last season. [LNB]Birmingham boss Alex McLeish says last weekend's display at Aston Villa proves they have moved "much closer" to their local rivals, who had won the previous six meetings. [LNB]Blues begin two points above the relegation zone, but they have impressed in the three league games since losing to Everton, a result which ended their year-long unbeaten home record. Narrowly beaten at Arsenal, they comfortably saw off Blackpool before holding Villa. Saturday's match will be refereed by 25-year-old official Michael Oliver, who sent off two West Brom players against Blackpool on Monday in the opening half hour.[LNB] MATCH FACTS Head-to-head[LNB]• The Hammers have lost only one of their last seven games against Blues, winning four of those matches. [LNB]• The 1-0 defeat at St Andrew's last season is West Ham's only defeat away to Birmingham in 25 years. [LNB][LNB] Have your say on this match Birmingham[LNB]• Blues have only scored four times in their last seven league matches. [LNB]• City have won only three of their last 20 top-flight games. [LNB]• Defeat would be Blues' 100th loss in the Premier League. [LNB]West Ham[LNB]• The Hammers have been saved by the woodwork 11 times this season, more than any other top-flight side, according to Opta. [LNB]• Avram Grant's side have kept only one clean sheet in 10 league games. That came in the 1-0 win against Tottenham in September. [LNB]• They have netted only seven Premier League goals this season, the joint lowest tally in the top flight along with Wigan. [LNB] LEADING GOALSCORERS [LNB]Birmingham[LNB]Gardner: 4 goals (3 league); Zigic: 3 goals (2 league) [LNB][LNB]West Ham[LNB]Parker: 4 goals (2 league); Piquionne: 3 goals (2 league) [LNB][LNB] MATCH OFFICIALS Referee: Michael Oliver [LNB]Assistant referees: Stuart Burt & Patrick Keane [LNB]Fourth official: Lee Probert [LNB][LNB] LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS Birmingham (D0-0 v Aston Villa, a): Foster, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Larsson, Gardner, Ferguson, Fahey, Hleb (Jerome 71), Zigic. Subs not used: Taylor, Bowyer, Phillips, Michel, Parnaby, Beausejour. [LNB]West Ham (L0-1 v Arsenal, a): Green, Jacobsen, da Costa, Gabbidon, Ilunga, Parker, Behrami (Barrera 90), Noble, Boa Morte, Obinna (Faubert 87), Piquionne (Cole 73).Subs not used: Stech, Reid, Tomkins, Kovac.

Source: BBC_Sport