It could be argued that Birmingham City have been the surprise package of the Barclay’s Premier League this season. “The Blues” currently lie in 9th place, on the back of a run consisting of a draw against Everton and consecutive defeats against Sunderland and Blackburn in their last three Premier League matches.
In addition to this, they have enjoyed relative success against the remaining trio of the “big four” managing to take points away from clashes against each of these titans.
In the previous fixture at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal managed to grind out a 3-1 victory, but the return match is likely to be a much tougher ride for the Gunners. This said, Arsenal have scored 7 goals in their last three league fixtures and the fans will be hoping to add to this flourish of goals in their bid for glory this season.
Birmingham will be without veteran Lee Carsley, who remains sidelined with an ankle injury and striker Garry O’Connor who is out with a groin injury.
Arsenal will have to cope without the impressive Thomas Vermaelen, with suggestions that Mikael Silvestre will partner Sol Campbell after Arsene Wenger confirmed he would not be resting players ahead of next Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Barcelona, despite doubts over William Gallas’ return to action.
This confirmation highlights Wenger’s “one- game- at- a- time” approach because he is fully aware of the threat that Birmingham can pose to Arsenal’s title bid.
“They are well organised, play good football and have a very good physical dynamic.
There is no doubt that much of the attention on Eduardo Da Silva, should he play a part in the fixture as he returns to the scene of his horrific injury in 2008. Despite this, Wenger is confident that Eduardo and his team mates will not let this effect their game and that the squad will be prepared.
“They will try to make it difficult for us and we will need to fight, maybe until the last second of the game. The most important thing is that we prepare to fight until the last second.
The Daily Cannon