Often Partisan

GAMEDAY – Boro at Home

Blues play their final home league game of the season at home to Middlesbrough this evening live on TV hoping to snap a streak which has seen them win just one of their last ten games.


Blues opponents Boro lie in second place in the Championship with only goal difference separating them, leaders Burnley and third-placed Brighton. They’re guaranteed to finish in the top three but they know that one of that trio of clubs will miss out on automatic promotion and as such the pressure will be on to extend an unbeaten run which goes back to March 13.

Aitor Karanka only has the fitness of left-back George Friend to worry about with the rest of his squad fit for duty.


Blues will be missing Jon Toral while Paul Caddis, Tomasz Kuszczak and Jacques Maghoma could all miss out through injury. Maikel Kieftenbeld returns after a quad injury as his broken bone in his eye socket won’t be a hindrance; James Vaughan could return to the squad after being ruled out through ineligibility against Huddersfield.

Gary Rowett has made it plain he respects the integrity of the league too much to tinker with his team but should all the doubtful players not make it then the squad if going to be paper thin. Rookie keeper Connal Truman would be called to the bench as back up for Adam Legzdins; Ryan Shotton could shuffle over to right back to replace Paul Caddis opening a spot for Jonathan Spector or Paul Robinson in defence while Viv Solomon-Otabor and Will Buckley could vie for the wide role in a 4-2-3-1.


Simon Hooper will be in the middle for this one. It will be his 41st game of a season where he has shown 98 yellow cards and two reds. His last Blues game was the 1-0 home defeat to Millwall last February in which he booked four players including Jonathan Spector of Blues.
Suspension Watch

One red card (three match suspension served): James Vaughan; (one match suspension served): Jon Toral

9 Yellow Cards: Maikel Kieftenbeld
8 Yellow Cards: Stephen Gleeson
7 Yellow Cards: Jonathan Grounds and David Davis
6 Yellow Cards: Diego Fabbrini and Paul Caddis
5 Yellow Cards: Jon Toral and Michael Morrison
4 Yellow Cards: Clayton Donaldson, David Cotterill and Paul Robinson
3 Yellow Cards: Kyle Lafferty and James Vaughan
2 Yellow Cards: Jonathan Spector, Jacques Maghoma and Neal Eardley
1 Yellow Card: Tomasz Kuszczak

Fantasy Football

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40 Responses to “GAMEDAY – Boro at Home”

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’d leave Shotton where he is. Spector can come in at right back. Although, I expect all the ‘doubtful’ players to be fit, as is usually the case where Mr Rowett is concerned.

    Kuszczak, Caddis, Morrison, Shotton, Grounds, Gleeson, Kieftenbeld, Cotterill, Fabbrini, Maghoma, Donaldson is what I expect to be the side.. with the usual 4-2-3-1. I suppose he could surprise us and play 4-3-3, with Davis in for Fabbrini.

    The way we’ve been playing, I can’t see us getting 3 points. We might manage another 1-1 draw.

  • Texas Pete says:

    I agree Staffs, put spector at right back and dont mess with the two CBs. Looking forward to finishing on a high note……in Block 4 and for the season. Cant wait to see the block 4 on TV. What a treat for me playing truant from the office.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Same team staffs and for Cardiff also then it’s the big reshuffle in the summer … Depends what Blues team turns up as the result goes . a win keeps 7th alive so a defeat looks likely . KRO

  • edd77 says:

    What a disappointing end to the season ,will continue tonight 3-0 Boro

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Two new full backs – Grounds dropped; Caddis moved to midfield (his preferred position). Shotton signed, Robinson re-signed; we won’t stand in Spector or Grounds way if they want to leave.

    Commanding midfielder added – Tesche or similar

    If he needs some funds he’ll cash in Donaldson. Vaughan will slit in there

    • Ken Copson says:

      Sorry but still not convinced on Shotton and cannot understand why we signed Vaughan.

    • Steve says:

      I can’t understand how Grounds holds onto his place. He’s been poor almost every match this season. I’d play Robbo, Shotton, Morrison, Caddis (or Spector if he is injured) as the back 4. Grounds needs to go!!!

  • AdamTrueBlue says:

    Boro are desperate for the win to keep their automatic promotion chance’s alive, so they are going to be pushing hard, which will fall in to Blues style of countering, I would not be suprised if we got the spoils tonight. Lets show GR and the players our appreciation for an enjoyable season and what might have been with some volume tonight, it’s been a good practice run ready for the real push next season. Kro

  • StaffsBlue says:

    In the first half of the season, we were expecting us to beat teams and we did a lot of the time… but since February, you just can’t pick it with Blues. You’re not even confident that we’ll beat the poorer teams anymore. This hasn’t been so much a rollercoaster of a season, more like a Jekyll & Hyde one. As Dave said, how well we do tonight depends which one turns up.. Jekyll or Hyde.

  • You lads know more than I do of what’s going on , but I feel that something is not right , I have had jobs whereby I have pushed my body to the limits regularly , the way I dealt with it was by getting my head down as soon as I could on getting home , for 1/2 an hour or so , if I didn’t I would feel really ill , they call it the wall , perhaps players that have died in football would have survived or would not have fell ill if they had followed that course , it worked for me in working 7 days a week for 17 years , and in my younger days there were no limits of what you should lift , by the time I was twenty I was lifting and carrying full size oxygen and acetylene bottles around on site , because it was easier than dragging a bottle truck around through the on site mud , in my job as a pipe fitter welder .on heavy pipe gangs , what I am really saying is that if players are worried about players like Fabrice Muamba on hitting the wall you must eat the right diet and have enough rest between work , Dave Mann will know this , KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    Those were the days William but seriously I think athletes are well looked after these days especially those that are playing at a good level in all sports not just football and saying that all you wish for as a supporter is they give 100 per cent every time weather it’s good enough or not … My father had to starve himself and trained untill he nearly collapsed getting ready for fights and he had atleast a fight every couple of months .. Today there treated like gods and earn vast amounts of money at the top level and it’s annoying when you see them not putting the effort in .. Just a moan that’s all . KRO

  • Do you think a rise will make them fitter Dave ……???

  • DoctorD says:

    The result will depend a lot on how Boro cope with their nerves. It’s tight as a gnat’s chuff at the top of the table and they have the headache of playing a day before Burnley and Brighton. But you know in your heart of heart we will lose or scrape a draw.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Boro’ know that if they don’t win tonight, Burnley and Brighton will probably take advantage. If they do, I doubt they’ll slip up after that, leaving Boro’ in the play-offs. They won’t want that. It could possibly play on their nerves. Let’s hope so. One thing’s for sure, there should be no nerves from our players.

  • KC says:

    See Dave Robinson has sadly passed away aged 68. Played for Blues 1966-73 making over 100 appearances. Remember playing against him for Waverley v his school Bartlley Green in the 1963 Birmingham schools Villa Cup final at Villa Park. RIP Dave.

    • Brummie Brian says:

      KC I also played against Dave at school level.He played for as you say Bartley Green and myself Four Dwellings in Quinton.He played at a year above his age because he was that good.Rest in peace Dave.KRO

    • Richard Granfield says:

      KC…..I was in the Bartley Green squad for game against Waverley at Villa Park.
      Waverley deservedly won 3-0.
      Dave was an outstanding schoolboy footballer and I played with him at both Bartley Green Junior and Secondary Modern schools.
      He also played for Kings Norton District and trialed for England Schoolboys.
      To be pedantic he was 67 not 68, but far too young to die.
      RIP Our captain.

      • KC says:

        Richard it is a small world. Sorry got the age wrong. I spotted it on Vital Bham and then afterwards spotted on another site that Dave’s birthday was in July which of course made him 67.
        I organised a reunion in 2013 – 50 years to the day that we won the cup. We visited the old school and had a photo taken at Villa Park with the cup. We never had a photo taken on the day.10 of the original team turned up from South Africa, Spainand Ireland in addition to the UK and those still in Brum Only the goalkeeper was missing , He unfortunately passed away some years earlier.
        I remember leading the Waverley team out as Dave led out Bartley Green as though it was yesterday.

        • Richard Granfield says:

          KC…..Yes I remember seeing the reunion of the Waverley Grammar squad in the newspaper.
          We had some good players at Bartley Green with Dave the best. He always hated the nickname “Sugar”. He wasn’t at that time blessed academically, in the lowest stream at school, but shone at sports.

          • KC says:

            Richard, strange how something sad can bring back some great memories. All the best mate.

  • JB says:

    Hoping that the newly formed Tilton Alliance will bring some of the atmosphere back to St Andrews in block 4! ….KRO

  • Will says:

    Well Al, I reckon with you being in H Kong you will have to search through all the girly bars until you find a tv with the match on tonight (You never know who u might bump into (PP?), purely in the name of sports journalism and research of course

    • DoctorD says:

      Will, it’ll be 5am over there when the match kicks off. Perhaps Dan will already have had a few tinnies with those in the know and got a few secrets out of the bag. Either that, he’ll be in his hotel bedroom with a chicken curry and nan bread from room service fumbling for a WiFi signal to get a dodgy live stream.

  • Dave Mann says:

    2.45 am Doctor when the game kicks off , it’s 7 hours difference in Hong Kong so maybe it’s bed time for Daniel I think or maybe it’s a late one !! KRO

  • Rkboosh says:

    I know its been a stale old end to the season & hard to drum up much enthusiasm for the last game, but only the most optimistic and partisan of our folk would have expected us to be 9th or 10th at the end of this season. Therefore lets give GR and the lads a show of appreciation & I for one sincerely hope he stays around for hopefully better times ahead. We usually play better against the top sides so who knows it might be a decent game to finish with too if we can generate a bit of atmosphere.

  • Dave Mann says:

    The trouble is the atmosphere will come from Middlesbrough and not Blues .. I think it will be pretty low key tonight unless we play well and look like winning , then it might pick up but I wouldn’t get to exited as most part time fans will watch it on TV .. It’s Cardiff for me next week !! KRO

  • Perhaps with things improving with the sale of the club so will the atmosphere in every match ,

  • Dave Mann says:

    Home matches William… Away matches are amazing anyway . KRO

  • Will says:

    Kro everyone targets for next season? Finnish above the Villa, top ten, play offs it even a dream of top 2, up toTTA I suppose

  • Will says:

    1-0 what a strike

  • Will says:

    Oh dealer, think we need a better goal keeper

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    What a great last 70 mins. Just shows what you can do when you play on the front foot

  • Once again blues put up a good performance against a top team , but you can see why lower teams pick up confidence with those silly mistakes that we make , don’t like how the team let’s strikers between them and the goal , needs working on as we need to cover the corners at all times , but hey two top class goals , and plenty of plusess., good entertainment and praise in the after match ..

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I felt sorry for Legzdins, one mistake, but three excellent saves to stop three certain goals. Morrison caught napping at the far post again for their second. If only Fabbrini hadn’t got in the way of Davis, we could have nicked it. But, we can’t be too disappointed because Boro’ had a perfectly good goal ruled out.

    All in all, a pretty good performance to finish off the home fixtures.

  • carlos1875 says:

    What a brill atmosphere tonight thanks to the boro fans as well Friday night on sky and they filled Gill merrick stand not sure about our goalkeeper we may need to look for a nother but we’ll done to every one in Stan drews what a night now for some drinks to settle me nerves

  • mark says:

    said before I did not feel we would collect a another 3 points this season….we appear to have a manager who is a draw king how many that now……..

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