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Opposition View: Birmingham

Alicia Povey chats to City fan Joe Lombardi.

2 February 2021

It’s a big one for the Chairboys tonight as we welcome Birmingham City to Adams Park. The team will be looking to bounce back after Saturday’s heavy defeat away to Brentford and put an all important three points on the board.

Ahead of tonight’s clash, Alicia Povey spoke to Birmingham City fan Joe Lombardi (@BrummieJoeHD) to see what we can expect this time round:

Birmingham currently sit 20th in the table, with 27 points from 26 games. What’s your recent form been like going into Tuesday’s game?
We have a much better away record than our home. That’s what my hopes are clinging on to! We’ve lost nine times at home this season and only twice away, however it’s still not been much of a fairytale away from home with just four wins. After our draw against Coventry last week, we’ll be eager to grab the three points but there’s a big question over whether this pressure will get the better of us.

The fans and I’m sure the owners will be expecting nothing less than a victory tonight.

Wycombe were able to clinch the win in injury time when we travelled up to St. Andrew’s stadium in November. Is Tuesday going to be another game of fine margins?
I believe so; we find it very hard to break down teams that want to make it difficult and we always have an error in us at the minute. I don’t think there’ll be a lot in it. As you can see from our previous fixture, even when taking the lead we find ourselves becoming vulnerable and making mistakes, it’s vital to us that we tighten up here.

All in all, I think it’s going to be a tight game. It’s one that we need to win at this point but we will be very cautious.

The Chairboys are coming off the back of a heavy loss against Brentford at the weekend, and they’ll be looking to bounce back. Will this be something that Aitor Karanka will be wary of?
100%. With teams like Wycombe, I know they see each game as a new opportunity and that now and again they’ll suffer a heavy defeat but they won’t be too concerned and be looking to put that right.

We don’t have the attacking prowess that Brentford have either and we have struggled for goals this season. We do tend to play better away from home but Karanka will want to make sure we don’t underestimate Wycombe at all.

You’ve got a new target man in the form of Sam Cosgrove who joins from Aberdeen. If he gets his debut against Wycombe, do you think he’ll have a marked impact? 
It’s an interesting one, it’s not a massive signing and a lot of us Blues fans don’t know a lot about him. However I feel that this will only benefit Sam as the pressure of expectation won’t be on him. My concern is how well he copes up front on his own, if he plays. 

He’ll be eager to make an impact and I think some fresh blood in our attack could be helpful as mentality has been a huge blocker for us this past year or so.

For me, he can only look up from here and I think he could do well. I don’t expect him to hit the ground running though and think it’ll be more of a case of developing and getting used to the league over the course of the season. The guidance of Juke (Lukas Jutkiewicz) will be important for this.

I am hoping he can bag one though, of course!

Other than your new signing, which Birmingham players will cause the most issues for the Wycombe side?
I think our main threat comes from our wingers. Jeremie Bela and Ivan Sanchez are a real nuisance on their day, they would be the players I would worry about the most if I were you. They’re both tricky wingers with a good end product, however I feel we are still lacking someone to get on the end of what they produce from out wide.

Scott Hogan has been struggling for form but we’ve seen more effort for him recently, chasing everything and being a nuisance to defenders. He’s scored a couple of goals this season but he’s eager to get back to the form he had when he first joined Blues on loan a year ago. He knows where the back of the net is, it’s all about confidence for him.

And on the reverse, which Wycombe players will potentially cause issues for Karanka’s side? 
Scott Kashket is a nuisance for us, scoring the equaliser in the last game and being your top scorer he’s one to keep an eye on. However, my real concern is our defensive errors. I think Wycombe is more of a squad where it’s a team effort and any player can be the difference. The drive from your team to pounce on our mistakes, as you did in the previous fixture, is my main concern.

Finally, what’s your score prediction?
This is a vital game for our season and for Karanka, we always find it difficult playing teams around us and I think it’s going to be tight, but I’m going to go for a 2-1 win.

It certainly has all the makings of a close one tonight, and we can’t wait to see what Wycombe can pull out of the bag.

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