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 Post subject: Match Reports: B'Ham City v Sunderland Tues 30/01/18 19:45
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:48 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:10 am
Posts: 10560

Craig Gardner is expected to come back into Birmingham's starting line-up against relegation rivals Sunderland.

Jason Lowe, Carl Jenkinson and Jota are also all pushing for a starting place.

New signing Kazenga LuaLua will be included in the Sunderland squad for the first time at St Andrew's but is most likely to feature form the bench.

Didier Ndong serves the second game of his three-match ban after being sent off at Cardiff and Billy Jones will miss out through illness.

SAM's prediction
Home win 49% Draw 28% Away win 23%

SAM, the Sports Analytics Machine, is a super-computer built by @ProfIanMcHale of the University of Liverpool.

Match facts

  • Birmingham are unbeaten in seven home league matches (W4 D3) against Sunderland since a 1-0 defeat in September 1997.
  • This is the first Championship meeting between these sides at St Andrew's since February 2007, when DJ Campbell equalised for the Blues in the last minute in a 1-1 draw.
  • Birmingham have scored eight goals in 14 home league games this season; their worst ever record at this stage of a league season. In fact, only three teams have scored fewer after 14 home games in the English second tier.
  • Chris Coleman has won three of his past four trips to St Andrew's in all competitions (L1), though the most recent victory came in November 2008 as Coventry manager.
  • Sam Gallagher has scored four goals in his previous six Championship matches.
  • This will be Sunderland's fourth match against a side starting the day in the relegation zone this season - they are yet to lose any of the previous three (W1 D2); indeed, they are unbeaten in their last 25 second-tier matches against sides starting that day in the relegation zone (W20 D5) since losing 4-0 away at Reading in October 1997.

 Post subject: Re: Match Reports: B'Ham City v Sunderland Tues 30/01/18 19:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:54 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:10 am
Posts: 10560

Team news:
Kone and Kazenga in contention

Lamine Kone and Kazenga LuaLua are expected to be part of Chris Coleman’s squad when Sunderland travel to Birmingham City on Tuesday, but neither player is ready to start.

Kone made his return to action one week ago as the under-23s dispatched Leicester City at the Stadium of Light, but LuaLua hasn’t featured since late November.

Jonny Williams won’t feature, though, with Tuesday’s trip to St Andrew's coming too soon for the Welshman who completed 80 minutes in yesterday’s under-23 defeat to Arsenal.

Speaking to, Coleman providing the latest on Kone, Williams and LuaLua, while also elaborating on where he sees the Black Cats’ new recruit fitting in.

“Jonny had 80 minutes yesterday in the under-23s and Lamine had 60 minutes earlier in the week,” said the Sunderland boss.

“They both came through it okay, a bit rusty, but you’d expect that after two or three months out, and both players are fine.”

He continued: “Tomorrow is a little bit early for both but Lamine will be in and around the squad.

“I think Jonny probably needs another 60 or 90 minutes before we can say we can consider him to be on the bench for us.

“Kazenga isn’t ready to start but he ticks the boxes for me in what I want from players coming here, as he’s hungry, wants to prove himself and he wants to be here.

“He’s an explosive player. I know I see people looking at it are saying, ‘we have Callum, we have McGeady, we’ve got wingers’, but really I want him to play down the middle for us in a two.

“That’s how I see him and maybe he will have to do a job out wide if we don’t go with wing-backs, but I’ve really brought him here to play in a two down the middle as a nine or a ten because of his pace.

“We need that pace in behind and Josh and Joel need some support as they’re good but they’re young, so along with Kaz we really need one more up there in the middle.”

 Post subject: Re: Match Reports: B'Ham City v Sunderland Tues 30/01/18 19:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:35 pm
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We're doomed.

The church of fear. The church of failure. The church of fools.
 Post subject: Re: Match Reports: B'Ham City v Sunderland Tues 30/01/18 19:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:31 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:10 am
Posts: 10560

Birmingham City beat fellow strugglers Sunderland to move out of the Championship relegation zone.

David Davis gave the Blues the lead when he squeezed a finish past Robbin Ruiter at his near post.

Jeremie Boga headed Jacques Maghoma's cross into the bottom corner to make it 2-0 before half-time and Davis squared for Sam Gallagher to tap in a third.

Bryan Oviedo volleyed in a late consolation but the Blues' seventh win of the season moved them up to 20th.

Birmingham came into the match as the lowest scorers in the entire Football League, with just 16 goals scored in 28 Championship fixtures, but they dominated from the outset.

Steve Cotterill's side were rewarded for their attacking intent as they scored more than one goal for just the third time in the league this season - and managed three for the first time in the Championship since beating Rotherham 4-2 in October 2016.

Birmingham's front trio of Gallagher, Maghoma and Boga caused Sunderland's defence all sorts of problems and could have scored more, with Southampton loanee Gallagher twice going close to adding to his five goals in his past seven league games.

The Black Cats brightened up late on with the introduction of new signing Kazenga LuaLua from the bench, but they left it too late and slip a place to 23rd.

Birmingham boss Steve Cotterill told BBC WM:

"It was a big night, the result could have been better, I think we got a little bit sloppy towards the end.

"I can't have too many complaints with the boys really, we played very well and got ourselves three in front, but the last goal is a slight disappointment for us.

"Our standards of late have been very good so that's a slight disappointment for us really, because normally defending is something we're quite good at that."

Sunderland manager Chris Coleman:

"It's unacceptable, that's the word. We can't even begin to accept that.

"All over the pitch for an hour we were second best. I don't get it. These games are cup finals for us.

"You win and you lose but it was the manner of the first hour, which was surprising considering where we are and who we were playing."



13 Stockdale
5 Colin
4 Roberts
12 Dean
3 Grounds Booked at 87mins
17 Ndoye Booked at 52mins
6 Kieftenbeld
19 Maghoma Substituted for Jota at 61'minutes
26 Davis Booked at 59 minsSubstituted for Adams at 81'minutes
20 Boga
18 Gallaghe rSubstituted for Jutkiewicz at 84'minutes


8 Gardner
10 Jutkiewicz
14 Adams
21 Lowe
27 Jota
28 Morrison
39 Trueman


25 Ruiter
18 Browning
23 Koné
35 Clarke-Salter Booked at 47 mins Substituted for McGeady at 65'minutes
21 Matthews
6 Cattermole
28 Robson Booked at 58mins
3 Oviedo
26 Honeyman Booked at 78mins
29 Asoro Substituted for Gooch at 84'minutes
20 Maja Substituted for Lua Lua at 60'minutes


1 Steele
7 Williams
11 Lua Lua
15 Galloway
19 McGeady
22 Love
27 Gooch

Darren Bond

 Post subject: Re: Match Reports: B'Ham City v Sunderland Tues 30/01/18 19:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:35 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:10 am
Posts: 10560

Birmingham City 3-1 Sunderland

Sunderland failed to build on victory over Hull City as they slumped to a disappointing defeat at St Andrew’s.

The Black Cats failed to turn up in the opening 45 minutes and they were punished, as David Davis tucked away the opener before Jeremie Boga’s bullet header doubled their advantage.

It didn’t get any better after the restart as Sam Gallagher made it 3-0 and the hosts threatened to run riot, before Bryan Oviedo pulled one back late on.

An evening to forget.


Chris Coleman made two changes ahead of the game as Lamine Kone and Adam Matthews started in a back five. Kone made his first appearance since October as John O’Shea missed out due to illness, as Billy Jones also failed to make the trip south. Lee Cattermole captained the Lads as Josh Maja and Joel Asoro once again led the line, and Jonny Williams was also included amongst the substitutes.


Birmingham immediately put to bed any pre-match jitters as Steve Cotterill’s side made a bright start to the game. With less than two minutes on the clock, on-loan Chelsea winger Boga picked up a good position on the left and lashed a volley well wide, but within moments the Blues were racing forward again and Cattermole did well to charge down Cheikh Ndoye’s fierce effort. Sam Gallagher then sent a free header wide after Boga whipped a cracking free-kick into the box, as the home side rounded off a confident opening.


Sunderland needed a lift and they got one as Maja injected some class into their attacking play. The striker sold his marker down the river to send the Lads onto the front foot, but after defending back-to-back corners the Blues countered and Robbin Ruiter had to be quick off his line to thwart Boga. Coleman’s continued to tread dangerously as Oviedo’s last-ditch intervention denied Jaques Maghoma from close range, but their luck ran out on 28 minutes as Birmingham pieced together the best moment of the match, as Davis exchanged passes with Maghoma before burying the ball under Ruiter.


The home side continued to boss proceedings and when they doubled their lead few in red and white could argue. Maghoma and Boga toyed with their respective full-backs throughout an impressive opening period, and they combined to devastating effect two minutes before the interval, as Maghome danced to the byline before cross to Boga whose bullet header powered beyond past Ruiter. At the interval, Coleman’s side had a mountain to climb.


Sunderland needed to respond quickly following the restart but the game continued in a similar fashion, as Birmingham picked up where they left off. Gallagher forced the first save of the game but moments later Ruiter found himself in no man’s land after being beaten to the ball by Davis. The winger remained calm and took a touch before squaring the ball to an unmarked Gallagher who couldn’t miss from four yards. The goalscorer almost added a fourth before the hour mark, but his curling effort whistled just past the post.


Coleman introduced Kazenga LuaLua and Aiden McGeady as the Black Cats attempted to muster a response, but Birmingham remained comfortable at the back until the latter stages. Oviedo dragged the Black Cats back into late on, volleying home at the back post after seeing an earlier effort crash against the post. And McGeady and LuaLua both went close, the former forcing Stockdale into a low save from a 25-yard free kick. The damage had already been done, though, and a night to forget ended in defeat.

Sunderland: Ruiter, Matthews, Browning, Kone, Clarke-Salter (McGeady, 64), Oviedo, Cattermole, Honeyman, Robson, Asoro (Gooch, 83), Maja (LuaLua, 59)
Subs: Steele, Love, Galloway, Williams.

 Post subject: Re: Match Reports: B'Ham City v Sunderland Tues 30/01/18 19:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:43 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:10 am
Posts: 10560

Quick Kicks: Sunderland weren’t good enough against Birmingham, but LuaLua offered us a positive

One Step Forward, 0.75 Steps Back...

Our complete inability to follow up a good result with another good result really frustrates me, as I’m sure it does everyone reading this and indeed Chris Coleman, who after last night’s defeat lamented the performance and said that it certainly wasn’t down to bad preparation why we just weren’t in the game for the first hour.

Luckily for us there are a gaggle of other teams down the bottom that are as bad as we are - though on the two viewings of Birmingham I’ve had this season, I’d be hugely surprised if they are down there with us, and I’d get them out of our minds when considering who is going to be in the relegation fight at the tail end of the season.

Tactically I thought we were disappointing. This wasn’t the same team that played on the front foot against Hull and looked sharper and quicker - this was the team we’ve seen for the most-part this season that couldn’t string together two passes and clearly had no plan in the way we were supposed to be playing.

I lost count of the amount of aimless hoofs forward to the heads of Joel Asoro and Josh Maja there were, which was fairly indicative of the performance as a whole.

It was obvious by half time that changes were needed and Chris Coleman didn’t recognise this quick enough, instead waiting until the result was out of our reach before bringing players on that could make a difference. I’m a huge fan of the Sunderland boss, but I thought he had an evening as bad as his players for once - though I’m sure he’ll learn from it because he’s a very competent manager.

Positive Signs From LuaLua

Though it’s very easy to play when you’re 3-0 down, I thought Kazenga LuaLua was very impressive when he came on.

He picked up the ball in pockets of space and attempted to commit defenders and create, something that had been missing from our play throughout the hour we played before he came on.

Aiden McGeady was similarly impressive and Bryan Oviedo was buoyed by their introduction, playing very high up the pitch and causing Birmingham issues with his movement and commitment.

I feel like playing on the floor and on the front foot will come good for us more often than not, and that away from home we aren’t particularly suited to sitting deep and playing long, direct football. With a raft of new signings coupled with the return of a couple of players giving Chris Coleman options now, it’ll be interesting to see if our approach changes.

New Keeper Needed

I’ve tried to be patient with Robbin Ruiter but it’s clear that he’s just not good enough.

He was abysmal for their first and third goals. It’s not just a one off - he makes mistakes like this every other game. We won’t stay up if we can’t rely upon our goalkeeper to be consistent.

The imminent signing of Andy Lonergan from Leeds United is a welcome one. He might not be perfect, but he’s experienced at this level and enjoys a close personal relationship with our assistant manager, whose judgement we have to trust.

 Post subject: Re: Match Reports: B'Ham City v Sunderland Tues 30/01/18 19:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:44 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:10 am
Posts: 10560

Last night's 3-1 win over hapless Sunderland at St. Andrew's propelled Birmingham City out of the bottom three for the first time in two months.

The result was telling of the differentiating mentalities of both clubs. Blues were up for the fight and pressed and harassed Sunderland from the first whistle. Chris Coleman's men were truly woeful and lacked any real fight - a point reiterated by their manager during his post match interview.

Blues won the game more through desire than quality. David Davis, who turned in arguably his best performance of the season, alongside Maikel Kieftenbeld and the improving Cheikh Ndoye, were tireless.

But the biggest positive of the evening was Blues' conviction in the final third. Make no mistake, Blues have performed better this season and lost with a lack of goals highlighted as the main factor. But from the moment Davis put Blues ahead, the outcome was never in doubt. Jeremie Boga added a second and Sam Gallagher put the icing on cake.

Steve Cotterill deserves credit for the job he is doing. The players look fitter, sharper and so much more orgsanised. Although Blues became sloppy in the final quarter of an hour - and nervous after Brian Oviedo netted a late consolation - Cotterill will be thrilled with the overall performance.

The Blues boss stated this week that trimming is squad down was 'just as crucial' as bringing a player in and I would second that thought. The balance of the squad is much better and the glass stomach wich has been so evident in recent months seems to be a thing of the past.

Having Che Adams and Carl Jenkinson fit and with Jason Lowe and Cohen Bramall back in contention, Cotterill certainly has options. With that in mind, would it be the end of the world if the club don't clinch a deadline day signing?

It's set to be a quiet day for the club - a total contrast to deadline day back in the summer. The manager remains hopeful of bringing one in - potentially a loan - but whether that comes to fruition remains to be seen.

So with three points in the bag, Blues can look forward to a testing trip to Hillsbrough on Saturday followed by an FA Cup replay against Huddersfield Town.

Vital Birmingham Man of the Match - David Davis

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