Stoke City v Birmingham City: Goals may be at a premium at the Britannia
Stoke City’s recent record against Birmingham City is about as embarrassing as my wife’s driving. The Potters have failed to score in their past six clashes with the Blues and includes a car crash of a result at the old Victoria Ground in 1998 when the Blues ran out 7-0 winners. Can the Staffordshire giants produce some magic to beat Alex McLeish’s high-flying side?
Tony Pulis’s men have tasted victory just once since sensationally beating Tottenham Hotspur in the capital in October and the goals have started to dry up. They have failed to find the back of the net in four of their past five outings and combined with their poor record against the Blues this could be a terrible end to the decade for Stoke fans.
Birmingham head up the M6 after extending their unbeaten run to 10 with a draw against the leaders Chelsea and will fancy their chances of making it 11 here this afternoon. Defensively the Blues are sound but in Lee Bowyer and Barry Ferguson McLeish has a midfield full of talent and experience. They also pose a huge attacking threat with the strength and pace of Jerome and Benitez.
Stoke and Birmingham produced the first goalless draw of the Premier League campaign back in August but you have to go back 12 years for the last time Stoke beat Birmingham. That win came courtesy of a solitary strike by Ray Wallace. Can the Potters end the decade on a high? Surprisingly almost half of the Panel believes so.