Often Partisan

Palace Preview

After the heartbreak of failure to qualify for the Europa League Knockout stages it’s back to the Championship to face Dougie Freedman’s Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. If Blues are to continue their push for the playoffs and beyond this is the sort of game that they will need to get a result from.

Crystal Palace

Palace are one of the few teams out there who have seemingly performed better away from home – maybe they dislike Selhurst as much as I do. They’ve only lost once in ten games at home but they’ve only won three times as well. Their form in their last six league games is pretty bad also; with just one win and three goals scored in that time. However, it is worth noting that in that spell they’ve knocked Manchester United out of the League Cup and it does seem from reading their site that they are eagerly awaiting their semi-final against Cardiff City.

Injury-wise, I can’t tell you anything as there was nothing up on their main site when I looked, nor the BBC. I’ll try to update this post when information comes in.

Birmingham City

It’s sad, but the bread and butter of the league is what we have left now and the Blues need to kick on from their good European showing to push up the table. Their form in the league isn’t brilliant – in the last six they’ve won two, drawn two and lost two, scoring and conceding eight goals. More worryingly Birmingham haven’t kept a clean sheet in nine prior to the Maribor game, and their away form in the league isn’t brilliant.

The only player definitely out is Liam Ridgewell, who is recovering from a thigh injury and should be available for selection soon. With King and Carr back in the squad after being rested in midweek, and Mutch back to full fitness there is going to be some competition for places, especially in the middle of the park. I expect we’ll see the return of Marlon King and Chris Wood up front, with Chris Burke and Jean Beausejour playing the wide roles. I’d like to see Fahey paired with Guirane N’Daw in the middle but I don’t think it will happen. It’s also interesting to see if Myhill regains his place after Doyle kept a clean sheet on Thursday, albeit against a toothless Maribor attack.

For me, this is one I think Blues can win – Palace aren’t brilliant at home and aren’t in the best of form. There is a sufficient break since the last game for tiredness not to be a factor and hopefully the confidence from the Maribor victory will carry forwards. For those (like me) who won’t be going, the match is live on Sky Sports 1, kick off 7:45pm, programme starting at 7:30pm.

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