Premier League preview: Boring Birmingham City might just upset the odds again

09 August 2010 12:20
Don't tell Alex McLeish but Birmingham are gradually taking on the characteristics of their manager. They're not too much to look at, but brave, willing and a wee bit ginger.

Just 38 goals for the fans to cheer from 38 games on their return to the Premier League last season but it will go down as a successful top-flight experience.

Ninth place on 50 points, it also bodes well for the future under new ownership. Without Joe Hart this time, McLeish would sign up for a repeat performance.

Ghoulish in front of goal: Birmingham could only muster 38 goals in 38 Premier League games last season

Boss's toughest jobTaking the next step up. Once favourites for the drop, McLeish's men are now favourites for midtable mediocrity. The next job is to make them the No 1 club - in Birmingham.

Hiccup on horizonFans are a bit miffed at the promises of owner Carson Yeung but little action. McLeish is still waiting for that '£40m transfer kitty'. Things could get messy if the manager needs to liven up his squad but the money is difficult to conjure up.

The numbers game6 - Number of away trips Birmingham have undertaken in last seven openers12 - The record number of consecutive games in which the Blues named the same team3 - How many headed goals they scored last season

Alternative sponsorDulux Paint it on, watch it dry, admire the finish

Ins/Outs In - Ben Foster (Man Utd, £6m, left), Enric Valles (NAC Breda, free), Nikola Zigic (Valencia, £6m)

Out - Gary McSheffrey, Lee Carsley (both Coventry, free), Franck Queuedrue (released), Gregory Vignal (released)

Safe hands: Signing Ben Foster will help ease the concern felt when Joe Hart returned to Man City

Keep an eye out forNathan Redmond Age: 16 Position: Winger

Fast and dangerous and a regular in England's youth set-up. Yet to make a match-day squad.

Fan's viewMartin Phillips: We started buying early but it has gone a bit quiet. We need someone to partner Zigic. Anywhere above  halfway is great and finishing in Europe would fulfil all our expectations.


Sportsmail's lowdown on all the Premier League teams  

Source: Daily_Mail