Following Blues’ unbeaten run coming to an end last weekend at the hands of Derby, Garry Monk’s side have the opportunity to bounce back against second-bottom Hull City.
The unbeaten run was going to end eventually, but a tame second half performance after going a goal up isn’t the best way for the run to end. However, optimism remains high at Blues and the loss doesn’t appear to have dampened spirits, which will still be high following Jutkiewicz winning Player of the Month for October, and Monk being nominated as Manager of the Month but just being pipped by Steve McClaren.
Blues will hope they can go to the international break on another high, giving themselves motivation and the prep time as they travel to Villa Park in two weeks. Coming up against teams in the bottom half and not doing so well has often been Blues’ forte, but this has changed with wins coming over Rotherham, Sheffield Wednesday and Reading recently.
Gary Gardner is out for Blues after picking up five yellow cards and receiving a one match suspension. Hull will be without a large group of players, including former Blues loanee Jon Toral who has a calf injury.
For the build-up to the game, We Are Birmingham spoke to Tiger Tube Player:
It is genuinely hard to see us getting anything from the game, given how largely poor and disorganised we’ve been much of this season and your recent good run and record against sides in the lower half of the table.
However, we have been more organised defensively with two consecutive clean sheets and looked more threatening going forward (albeit wastefully missing chances) in the last few matches and I have more hope of being competitive than I had a few weeks back.
Tommy Elphick and has been crucial in adding a calming presence and steel to a porous back line and his battle with Jutkiewicz will be key. Fraizer Campbell is still a canny at this level and if the unpredictable Kamil Grosicki has an on-day, they could be a threat, especially early in the game.
Half Time Prediction:
Birmingham 0-1 Hull
Full Time Prediction:
Birmingham 2-1 Hull
Predicted Hull Line-up:
(4-3-3) Marshall; Burke, De Wijs, Elphick, Lichaj; Irvine, Batty, Henriksen; Bowen, Grosicki, Campbell
Hull manager Nigel Adkins has lost his last two league games against Blues by an aggregate score of 9-1, including the 6-1 loss as Reading manager and 3-0 loss as Hull manager.
Garry Monk lost against Hull in his first meeting against them as manager, however has beaten them in the four games against them since.
Blues have the opportunity to win at home for the fourth successive game, a feat not achieved since January 2016.
Birmingham City manager Garry Monk on the mood following Blues’ loss to Derby and coming up against Hull:
We knew there were going to be bumps and set-backs, but that’s the reality of football, especially in this league. The key is the determination to respond to that and learn the lessons that we need to learn, which we’ve gone through and prepare for Saturday and we’ve been very focused on that.
They’ve had good results back to back. In this league teams are more than capable of putting runs together. You can be in shocking form and go on a winning run and be in great form and go on a losing run. That’s how it is, but consistency is what we’re fighting for.
Hull City manager Nigel Adkins on their two consecutive wins and Blues’ attacking threat:
We’ve got a group of players who are working extremely hard for each other and I’ve highlighted several times before the previous two (wins) it’s been fine margins.
At the weekend Birmingham are going to play with big Jutkiewicz up front. Potentially they get a lot of crosses in with Jota coming in from the right-hand side and whipping crosses in so we’re going to have to defend the far post well.