Often Partisan

Off to Partizan: Brugge Preview.

It’s twenty four hours until the Brummie invasion of Belgium and judging by the mood on the fora and social media out there people are in an advance state of excitement. I know I am – the idea of so many bluenoses converging on foreign shores in the name of football just makes me burst with pride. Normally, for a preview I’d look at teams etc but as this is a bit of a special game, this is a bit of a special preview.

Club Brugge KV

The Belgians head group H of the Europa League, having beaten NK Maribor 2-0 at home, and then managing a last gasp 2-1 away win at Braga. Throw in the fact that they’re currently unbeaten in the Jupiler Pro League (6 wins, 4 draws) and you have evidence that they’re a strong side. Like Chris Wood, Nigerian Joseph Akpala already has nine goals this season – the Brugge man with four in the Europa League already – and along with Belgian striker Odjidja-Ofoe they have a potent combination up front.

Like Blues, Brugge boast two players with Baggies connections in their squad; club captain Carl Hoefkens however won’t play tomorrow after suffering a nasty injury in their last game against Genk; however Ryan Donk who graced the Hawthorns pitch on loan in the 08/09 season may well line up against Blues in the Brugge midfield.

I noted on BCFC.com (and was reminded by Hammy in a comment on here) that Brugge have a tradition of applauding in the 23rd minute, in rememberance of a player that died in 2008 by the name of François Sterchele. Sterchele was a promising striker who was just breaking into the Belgian team when he had a fatal accident, crashing his Porsche into a tree. As he wore the number 23, Brugge fans applaud in that minute to remember him, and have asked that Blues do the same.

Birmingham City

The only notable absentee from the squad posted by BCFC.com to go out to Belgium is captain Stephen Carr (at the time of writing I’m not sure if this is an error or if there is an injury), but Curtis Davies is fit enough to travel which will be a boost. There has been rumours of squad rotation due to knocks picked up from players; Chris Kershaw mentioned earlier that there was a prospect of one or two changes to be made by Chris Hughton. I’d like to see some squad consistency as the team has definitely started to gel; however I’d also like to see Wade Elliott being given a run over Keith Fahey and maybe Nikola Zigic instead of Chris Wood up front.

Thanks to @richrd31 who did some awesome research earlier today, I can tell you that if Chris Wood gets another goal in the next three games he will be the first person since Kenny Burns to make it to double figures in October. Kenny did it in the 76-77 season, and is one of only six players to do it since the second world war – Govan in 56-57, Leek 62-63, Vowden 66-67 Bridges 67-68 and Bob Latchford in 71-72 are the others – so our young on-loan Baggie would be joining some fairly illustrious company.

By the time you read this, I’ll probably be already on my way. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology I’m now able to update on the move, and maybe this time I’ll even be able to bring you pictures – I still have some from Maribor saved but they’ve proved to be troublesome to put on the blog. If you’re heading out there please stay safe, do the city of Birmingham proud and have fun. If you’re stuck at home, the match is on ESPN Classic (Virgin Media 533, Sky 429) and kicks off at 6pm British time.

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12 Responses to “Off to Partizan: Brugge Preview.”

  • bluenoseneil says:

    Does anyone know where to get the ESPN Classic feed online? I don’t have Sky or Virgin Media – or a ticket to Bruges!! – but still want to watch. Any ideas?

  • bluenose11 says:

    you could try
    AtdheNet.TV or justin tv or ziggy tv one of these should have it

  • Roy Flowers says:

    You could try liveonlinefooty.com. Watched the Nacional and the Maribor games. Excellent picture quality and only £2 for 24 hour access.

  • Graham Woodward says:

    I found a link for the previous ESPN Classic match on nkora.net

  • chris says:

    no ticket but excitement growing
    roll on 05.00 tomorrow off through the tunnel

  • Aussiebrum says:

    Enjoy the trip – it’ll be brilliant. Sadly I can’t be there but will be StAndrews for the return league so will see a European game.

    Please all be sure to behave and try to bring the three points home with you.

  • Mark says:

    Hope this is a great experience for the 10,000 bluenoses who are possibly travelling to belgium.
    Can a result be achieved there why not! Reading your comments again are informative. I hope chris woods can keep scoring, to be put in the same breathe as kenny burns is some achievement.
    Let hope some fans start realising his achievement instead of knocking the lad, On my last note blues could achieve something wonderful lets hope so……………..go on you blues KRO

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