Blues return with Fulham test

19 November 2009 01:51
Birmingham City entertain Fulham on Saturday afternoon at St. Andrew's and a win for either side would seriously ease their relegation jitters. Alex McLeish's side currently sit in 15th place and their previous three results have aided their improving climb up the table. A hard-fought 2-1 win against Sunderland followed by valuable draws against Manchester City and Liverpool has helped the Blues move away from the bottom three, although they are just two points ahead of West Ham United, who sit in the final relegation position. Fulham are also going through a healthy streak in the league and they remain undefeated in their last five fixtures. Victories against Hull City and Liverpool and draws at West Ham United, Manchester City and Wigan Athletic have shot Roy Hodgson's men into 11th place and a healthy five points away from the dreaded relegation places. Fulham look to have turned the corner following their shocking start to the campaign and with players such as Danny Murphy, Clint Dempsey, Brede Hangeland, Damien Duff and Andrew Johnson, the Cottagers have the quality needed to remain in the top-flight. Birmingham, on the other hand, must use their excellent 2-2 draw at Anfield last time out to kick-start their season. McLeish's outfit have scored just ten goals in their first 12 games this season and this problem needs to be addressed. The hosts will be without the services of Garry O'Connor (hip), Martin Taylor (ankle) and David Murphy (knee), who are all long-term absentees. Fulham's Diomansy Kamara (ankle) is likely to miss out while Danny Murphy (knee) and Andrew Johnson (groin) face a race against time to make the squad. With Birmingham having games against neighbours Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic, West Ham United and Blackburn Rovers coming up, it gives the Midlands outfit a realistic chance to grab more needed points as they look to preserve their Premier League status following promotion from the Championship last season. In similar fashion, Fulham have winnable games against Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland and Burnley fast approaching and Saturday's clash will give both the perfect opportunity to gather maximum haul.

Source: ESA