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Saturday, 01 May 2010

Birmingham City v Burnley: Clarets seek a Blues double

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There’s not a lot riding on this game; Birmingham are safe and Burnley are down, but the visitors will want to bow out of the Premier League with a double under their belt. The Clarets beat the Blues 2-1 back in October thanks to strikes from Steven Fletcher and Andre Bikey and they could beat City twice in the same season for the first time since 1962. However, I’m sure Alex McLeish will have something to say about that!

Birmingham City, who let’s not forget were promoted at the same time as Burnley, have been one of the surprise packages of the season and that’s down largely to the defensive nous of Big Eck. The former Scotland and Aberdeen defender has a glittering haul of medals at home following his success with the Dons in the 80s and knows what it takes to come out on top against the opposition’s attack. The Blues have conceded just 12 goals at St Andrews this season – a record only matched by the current champions Manchester United – but unfortunately they haven’t picked up a win bonus in their past eight outings.

Burnley were formally relegated last weekend with a 4-0 defeat by Liverpool and leave the top flight after just one season, despite an impressive start to the campaign. Their main downfall though has been their inability to pick up points away from home. They managed only their first away win of the season recently against fellow strugglers Hull City but nobody really sees them repeating that performance at St Andrews here today.

Birmingham haven’t beaten Burnley since Nicklas Bendtner and DJ Campbell scored in a 2-1 win at Turf Moor back in November 2006 but this could well be the day they break that duck.

Birmingham City v Burnley; Kick Off 12:45pm 01 May 2010

Prediction Panel

Our panel contains both Squarefootball writers and readers, the writers are marked: (sqf).

Dave Blackburn : 2 - 0
Chris Cox : 2 - 0
Graham Enwright : TBC
Sue Gardener : 2 - 1
Chris Goodwin : 2 - 0
Paul Grech (sqf) : TBC
Colin Illingworth (sqf) : 2 - 0
Hugh Larkin (sqf) : TBC
Peter Lee : 2 - 0
Don McMahon : 2 - 0
Antony Melvin (sqf) : 2 - 0
Paul O'Meara (sqf) : TBC
Dave Nash : 1 - 0
Stephen Orford (sqf) : TBC
Tony Ratton : 2 - 0
Peter Rendle : 2 - 0
Dan Taylor : 2 - 0
Andy Wakeman : 3 - 0
Isaac Williams : TBC
Mark Williams : TBC

Panel Verdict

The Panel is going for a home banker.

Home: 13; Draw: 0; Away: 0; TBC: 7.

* Do we have it right, or do you know better? Please don't bother with derisory comments on the predictions after the match - unless you also pulled us up before it!

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Colin Illingworth



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