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Blunting the Blades? FA Cup Blues vs Sheffield United preview

Saturday sees Birmingham City make the journey up to the Steel City and Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United in the fourth round of the FA Cup, sponsored by some American beer. With Blues riding high in the Championship they’ll be classed as favourites to go through,however the Blades are sitting pretty in League One and won’t be any pushovers.

Sheffield United

The Blades are doing well in their quest to get back to the Championship at the first attempt, sitting third after 27 game with 53 points. Their home record is good as well; ten home wins in the league and only two defeats. Add to this the best home goalscoring record in the third tier with 33 in just fourteen games and it’s easy to see Sheffield United are not going to be a pushover.

United’s recent cup pedigree isn’t brilliant; they went out last year in the third round at home to a team from Birmingham and have exited the cup in each of the last four seasons to a team from a division above them. However, they have won the cup four times and have been runner up twice (all pre World War II), and were in the semifinals in 2001/2, losing at Old Trafford 1-0 to a controversial Freddie Ljungberg goal so their history in this competition is far superior to that of Birmingham City.

James Beattie definitely sits out the game as the first match of a three match suspension for receiving a red card in the fracas against Charlton whilst Ryan Flynn may return from illness.

Birmingham City

Blues welcome back Pablo Ibanez and Liam Ridgewell to the squad from injury, however Stephen Carr continues to sit on the sidelines although he is back in training. Marlon King is doubtful with the groin injury he picked up against Watford, and of course Jean Beausejour has gone to Wigan.

The squad is going to be interesting; if King and Carr definitely miss out Blues have sixteen professionals (including two keepers) for eighteen spots meaning possible places on the bench for youngsters Enric Valles, Eddy Gnahoré or Callum Reilly. Hughton has confirmed Doyle will keep his place between the sticks as the cup goalkeeper and that Butland will be on the bench. Having kept a pair of clean sheets in the last round punctuated with some fine double saves I have faith Doyle will again do the business for us.

I know many people aren’t fussed with the FA Cup; promotion has to be seen as a priority but I really want us to win this one and go through. The fact is we have a good chance to get through to the fifth round here – and with some more luck we can make it further. I’d love another day at Wembley, and I think most other fans would too. The Europa League made the first half of the season interesting; let’s hope the FA Cup can do the same for the second half.

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8 Responses to “Blunting the Blades? FA Cup Blues vs Sheffield United preview”

  • LodgeLion says:

    Recent events have shown how thread-bare the squad is at the moment. Whilst giving the kids a chance in FA Cup matches is no bad thing, it is unfair to rely on them too much at this stage of their careers. Redmond is a great prospect but I would not want him replacing Beausejour for the rest of the season. We need a couple of experienced bodies for the squad ASAP.

  • prewarblue says:

    While agreeing with those who want promotion could I point out, those of us of a certain age group have only one dream left regarding Blues and the F.A Cup !,,,,,,,,,,,,,to win it !,,,,to see a Blues captain lift that tin pot is my dream,,,,,,,the Vile have had the cup stolen more times than Blues have won it,,,,,,even a non English side has won it and taken it out of the country

  • quokkasskip says:

    worth giving Eddy Gnahoré or Callum Reilly a game i think. We are going to play a 5 man midfield and i reckon either could do a job as a strong runner in midfield with Gomis and Elliot adding the experience and guile. We will never know how good they are without giving them a chance. Valles i have seen twice for the reserves/preseason and I thikn he is a long way off being championship standard (hope to be proved wrong). As for the FA Cup, i want us to go all the way. Selling 4500+ tickets vs Sheff U proves how much the fans love it. I cannot wait to have a decent pint of beer in Sheffield (i live in london) and watch another blues win tomorrow.

  • Mortonsblue says:

    If we can go through another round or two and draw one of the top six away we will generate more revenue than we got for Beausejour!

  • Oldbluenose says:

    I also, as an oldie, would like to see us win the cup, in my lifetime,!!. I remember the 56, final and was gutted that Don Revie, took us apart, as I thought we had a great team at that time,!!.

  • leigh says:

    Have to agree with everyone, I just did not realise how cut to the bone we are. As another old timer I would love us to win the cup………and it has just hit me from the above comments how disastrous it could be to be promoted on such a squad and budget

  • Richard Mountford says:

    To be honest, best I can see is a draw for Blues (which won’t help the fixture congestion) – given the team we are likely to put out. Sheff Utd are a decent outfit who will probably win promotion back to the Championship this year, their home form is good (and our away from is nothing to shout about).
    Rather than play 4-5-1 I hope he goes for it, and plays Zigic and Rooney up front in a 4-4-2 with Redmond and Burke out wide, Mutch and Gomoris in the middle. One of those games were I feel a positive result either way might be in Blue’s better interests?

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