Often Partisan

Match Preview: Europa League v Nacional

Today sees the return leg of the Europa League Playoff Round tie against CD Nacional of Madeira. After the first leg finished in goal-less stalemate, Blues know that they have a good chance against a team that doesn’t travel well – but they also know that they cannot afford to concede an early away goal.

C D Nacional

Nacional haven’t played a game since the draw against Blues, so no doubt their team will be fresher than their Royal Blue counterparts. I’ve seen no news of injuries from the Portuguese side, and in the press conference today Ivo Vieira, the Nacional head coach said that the team would be looking to counteract the visible threat Blues posed them in the air. Nacional captain Felipe Lopes said that the team doesn’t feel threatened by the prospect of a full St Andrews.

Birmingham City

It’s quicker to list who is fit and available for Blues than to go through injuries at the moment; by my reckoning Blues have 19 fit players if Liam Ridgewell passes his fitness test – although that includes kids like Fraser Kerr, Luke Hubbins, Enric Valles, Akwasi Asante and Jake Jervis. New loan signing Guirane N’Daw is ineligible for the match; Scott Dann seems to have picked up a niggle that will prevent him playing for the Blues in Europe, Morgaro Gomis will be fit after the international break and whilst Cameron Jerome is back in training this is a match too early for him.

Assuming Ridgewell doesn’t make it, I wouldn’t be surprised if Blues went with the 4-2-3-1 which served well against Coventry, with Redmond, Burke and Beausejour all detailed to support the lone striker when we have the ball.

Whilst I wish I was confident, I think the tiredness is showing in the Blues squad and I fear for us. I think we’ll do as well as we can, but we’ll bow out in glorious failure 1-1, losing on the away goals rule. I really hope we can do it, but I can’t see it.

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5 Responses to “Match Preview: Europa League v Nacional”

  • JohnR says:

    Crikey Almajir that’s a very downbeat post. Be positive, we’re going to have a sell out crowd it’s a night match and Nacional don’t travel well. They didn’t really threaten us in Madeira and with a bit of luck we could have won quite easily. Yes we have injuries but I think the ream will be well up for this game. I’m going for a 2-1 win.

  • griffo says:

    We could have easily have beaten them if it wasn’t for the post and cross bar!! I don’t care what they say they won’t be used to places like a sold out compact ground like St Andrews, and I reckon we’ll do them 2-0

  • glyn rees says:

    I think they will go 4-4-2 , score early , big crowd frighten them to death 3-0 Rooney 2 Wood 1 all before half time Kro

  • Dean says:

    Tired you having a laugh it’s 90 min’s of football after 3 days of training ( maybe 2 if they had a day off ) They want to try making a living in the real world ( footballers in general ) .Tired my arse more like lazy.
    Anyway rant over come on you blues 2 – 0 ( Rooney & Davies ).

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