Often Partisan

Up for the Cup – Plymouth Preview

Birmingham City get the opportunity to bounce back from their opening day defeat to Watford almost immediately with the visit of League Two side Plymouth Argyle to St Andrews tonight in the first round of the Capital One Cup. John Sheridan’s men also lost 1-0 in their opening fixture and will be hoping for a cup upset.

Plymouth Argyle

The Pilgrims will include new signing Neal Trotman in their squad after the opening day injury to Paul Wotton added to their defensive woes whilst keeper Jake Cole will return between the sticks. The Home Park outfit will be looking to turn the tide of history, having been knocked out by Blues each of the last three times they have met in this competition.


Lee Clark is likely to shuffle his squad slightly, bringing in players who missed out against Watford and giving them a chance to impress. This could mean recalls for Chris Burke, Callum Reilly and Scott Allan and possibly pre-empts a return to a flat back four for this fixture.

Mitch Hancox (groin) joins Darren Ambrose and Nikola Zigic on the sidelines whilst long-term absentees Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and David Murphy will continue to miss out.

Clark intends to take the Capital One Cup seriously which means that there may not be an opportunity for some of the younger fringe players like Ryan Higgins or Reece Brown to get spots on the bench although there is a possibility Koby Arthur could pick up his first start in the first team.

As ever, this tie is a potential banana skin and Blues will want to do a professional job in securing a place in the next round draw without too many hassles or injuries. A good cup run could do wonders for Blues’ finances and Clark will be mindful of that when he picks his side. I think that we should have enough to take care of the game but it wouldn’t surprise me if it mirrored the game against Barnet last season where the team started slowly but stepped up a gear second half.

As I am out of the country at present, I won’t be writing a match report for this game.

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49 Responses to “Up for the Cup – Plymouth Preview”

  • sutton apex says:

    alot a players like burke will want to prove a point – 3-1 to blues, wembley ere we come !!

    • maurice walters from thailand says:

      i agree sutton and dont forget Allan as well as Burke woud like to of seen Zidik with them as well 4-0 up the blues

  • StaffsBlue says:

    We don’t have a whole lot of choice at centre back at the moment, so, unless he promotes James Fry, it will mean that, if it’s 4-4-2, it’s any 2 from 3 of Bartley, Burn or Robinson. Unless of course he plays Mullins there, in which case it will be 3-5-2.

    Only thing that really worries me, is if Doyle plays in goal. He has too many rickets in him for my liking. I’d go with:


    Eardley, Bartley, Burn, Ferguson

    Burke, Allan, Reilly, Elliott, Arthur


    Subs: Doyle, Robinson, Mullins, Adeyemi, Lee, Shinnie, Green

    (we only have 2 strikers available atm, so give I’d Green a rest and Novak some game time)

    • DoctorD says:

      Whatever the rights and wrongs of letting Marlon King go, I like the way Clark is going about his business of moving him on in a fairly mature way. I wonder where Big Zig will go next year — he’ll have to accept a monster pay cut wherever he ends up. You can imagine him retiring in fact.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Pleasing that Clarky will be taking the competition seriously. I reckon Doyle will start in goal but otherwise it will be pretty much a full first team I think.

    I’m sure Plymouth will be up for the challenge and take the game to us. I love any cup game and always like to see the under dog come out of the traps quickly. Can’t beat a balmy night under the floodlights in August. Bring it on.

  • Frankie says:

    Can’t understand the ‘bandwagon’ of fans having a go at Doyle.
    He has largely been very impressive when keeping goal for Blues.
    Yes like ANY keeper (remember Joe Hart even) he has made a few errors.
    Get behind him if he plays, not many players have shown as much loyalty to the club as Colin.

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Other than his error at Maribor I’ve always backed him (as I do any player that pulls on the royal Blue shirt)

      • StaffsBlue says:

        That is actually one error I DIDN’T put down to Doyle. For me, that was entirely Spector’s fault. When you pass back to your keeper, you should at least know which foot he kicks with. Also, when a keeper has a player bearing down on him, you pass the ball along the deck. Spector did neither. His pass was off the ground AND to Doyle’s left foot. Admitted, Doyle maybe should have cleared it, but how many players fail to connect with their “swinger?”

        • Ali Duncan says:

          Not sure I agree Staffs. I expect a professional to be able to do the bread and butter stuff with either foot. It clearly wasn’t the best backpass in the world but all players and in particular keepers are used to being put under pressure when an opponent is bearing down on them.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            As I said, he should have cleared it into Row Z, But I have some sympathy with him due to the abysmal back pass. What I’m more worried about, is his decision making sometimes.

      • chas says:

        But that error at Maribor was as much , if not more , the blame of Spector for a terrible back pass across the face of the goal and very high. Schoolboy defending that put Doyle under pressure.

    • BhamCityJulian says:

      Doyle at Oxford was terrible and didn’t he concede all four goals at Shrewsbury?

      • StaffsBlue says:

        The 3rd Shrews goal was entirely down to Doyle. What ever possessed him to come charging out of his area I don’t know. He made it so easy for the Shrews player to lob him.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I always get 100% behind every Blues player…. even Zigic. Doesn’t stop me worrying about certain players. I’ll be there tonight cheering them all on, whoever plays.

  • mineheadblue says:

    Fair point Frankie….he has shown lots of loyalty (but most of us worry about the odd costly error nonetheless)

  • dave mann says:

    a desent cup run could help morale and confidence for the more important league games.
    carry on like we did saturday and were be fine, 4-4-3 this time.
    doyle, eardley,hancox, bartley,burn,burke, allan, rilley,ferguson, arthur, novak.
    this is not necessarily the team id pick but the team i think lee will pick.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Hancox is out with a groin strain I think Dave.

      • almajir says:

        A swollen testicle to be precise Staffs.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Made a balls up of that one didn’t I? :)

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Loved this little.. nugget from the manager lol

            Mitchell Hancox, meanwhile, is recovering after receiving an elbow in a delicate place during training at Wast Hills. Clark revealed: “He’s got a badly bruised and swollen testicle. It’s not the nicest of injuries. There was a collision in training. It was causing him a lot of pain, he couldn’t actually walk for a couple of days after it happened.”

          • AuldBertie says:

            Sounds like he’s knackered then

    • Les says:

      Playing with 12 men are we?

  • Frankie says:

    Goalkeeper is such a ‘finite’ position though.
    If a midfielder ‘scuffs it’ or misplaces a pass then its just a ‘groan’ and we get on with it.
    Remember Big colin at Molineux against the wolves when we got promoted.
    Was simply one of the best goalkeeping performances i’ve EVER seen.
    He is such a great bloke also, as anyone who has met him will testify.
    I think he is a tremendous keeper too.

  • dave mann says:

    ok, staffs maybe ferguson left back and bring in mullins or adeyemi then.KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’d like to play our strongest team, to make sure we get through, but you can understand that other players in the squad need game time. For me, the only way you get into any kind of form, is with a settled team. But needs must I suppose.

  • andy says:

    You should always play your strongest team, if not, you deserve to go out the cup.

  • the timms says:

    Couldn’t make it on Saturday so I’m really up for it tonight!

    This comment was sponsored by floors to go.

  • mark says:

    Imo I believe blues have goals in them, and were unlucky against watford. My punt will be 3-0 or 4-0 blues will pass them to death. Kro

  • mark says:

    Novak to get a couple of goals ….

  • dave mann says:

    3-0 my prediction, then on to yeovil saturday, lookimg forward to that leaving 9-15 on
    our private coach, plenty of beers and song and 3 points to finish it off.
    thank god the football seasons back!KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Hopefully, we’ll have a repeat of last year’s Barnet result, but maybe Plymouth will be a bit better organised. I’ll go for 4-1 to Blues.

  • dave mann says:

    is the second round draw tomorrow night?KRO.

  • dave mann says:

    cheers for that mate.KRO.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    This will be the team tonight

    Eardley Bartley Burn Fergie
    Burke Allan Reilly Elliott
    Arthur Novak

  • Tony says:

    Like the look of that Jazzy apart from front 2

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I think, with only 2 strikers fit, he might rest one and play 4-5-1.

  • Tony says:

    Could be right staffs

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Dan Burn easily MOTM for me tonight. Scott Allan impressed me too.

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