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Match Reports
Preview Pack - Spurs v Birmingham - 07.01.04

Last Year's Game - 2-1 to Spurs
This season's game at St. Andrews - 1-0 to Birmingham
This week - last year
What happened in the Premiership in Match 20 2002-3

Full Record of Spurs -v- Birmingham City


Premier        Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home            1   1   0   0    2 - 1   3
Away            2   0   1   1    1 - 2   1
==========================================
Total (Prem)    3   1   1   1    3 - 3   4
==========================================
Football Lge
Home (Div 1)   28   20  4   4   63 -22  47
Away (Div 1)   28   10  4  14   31 -39  25
==========================================
Total (Div 1)  56   30  8  18   94 -61  72
==========================================
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)    4    1  1   2    6 - 4   3
Away (Div 2)    4    1  2   1    4 - 4   4
==========================================
Total(Div 2)    8    2  3   3   10 - 8   7
==========================================
Total (Prem)    3   1   1   1    3 - 3   4
Total(Div 1)   56   30  8  18   94 -61  72
Total(Div 2)    8    2  3   3   10 - 8   7
==========================================
Grand Total    67   33 12  22  107 -72  83
==========================================

Last Six Premiership results:-


Spurs

Blackburn  1  0   Spurs
Spurs      5  2   Wolves
Newcastle  4  0   Spurs
Spurs      1  2   Man Utd
P'tsmouth  2  0   Spurs
Spurs      0  1   Charlton

Birmingham

B'mingham  0  3   Arsenal
Liverpool  3  1   B'mingham
B'mingham  0  4   Blackburn
L'cester   0  2   B'mingham
B'mingham  2  1   Man City
Everton    1  0   B'mingham

Pos           P  W  D  L  F-A   GD  Pts
 9 B'mingham 18  7  5  6 16-20  -4  26
18 Spurs     19  5  3 11 19-29 -10  18

When Spurs entertained Birmingham last year on Grand national Day, it was the visitors who were in the midst of a relegation battle and not Spurs. Yet, had the Brummies managed to beat West Ham at home on the last day of the season, they would have finished above us in the league on goal difference. Spurs edged home by 2 goals to 1, but the first of those had been a famous cheeky goal by Robbie Keane, creeping up behind rookie keeper Andy Marriot to nick the ball from his feet. A question I have since asked myself, is should Robbie have sought permission to re-enter the field of play, having run behind Marriot's goal? Gus Poyet was villain and hero that day (isn't he ever?) when he firstly gave away a penalty, then hit a superb half-volley to snatch the points with three minutes to go.

This match is the reverse of the season-opener at St. Andrews, when one of our least favourite referees - Mr. Styles - deemed that the 50/50 tussle between Gardner and Savage was worth a penalty to the home side, taken and converted by new boy David Dunn.

Dunn was a 5million signing from Blackburn, who Birmingham have both lost to and beaten by 4-0 in recent matches at the Blues' ground. The defeat was in the league. The victory was in last Saturday's Cup game. Ex-Arsenal centre-back, Matthew Upson has suffered an injury that will keep him out for several weeks, and Birmingham will sorely miss this player, who many feel should not have been allowed to leave Highbury.Lazarides is also expected to be missing, but then he is not a regular like our ex-player, Stephen Clemence who has been a great success since his transfer this time last year. Clem has been involved in every game for Birmingham this season - once as substitute.Jamie Clapham is also likely to feature for the visitors.

Dugarry will be missing, but Birmingham have not missed him too much as he has only scored 1 goal so far this term. The main threat will be Forsell - the perpetual Chelsea loanee -who has scored 9 goals in all. No wonder Steve Bruce felt able to dispose of Geoff Horsfield, who has quickly moved from Wigan to West Brom in the last few months.

So - Birmingham may be weakened, but they will play with the same degree of passion and determination as ever, including our nemesis - Robbie Savage. Birmingham's injuries may give Spurs the opportunity they so desperately need, as they start their fight for Premiership survival, with Fredi Kanoute likely to be making his penultimate appearance before the African adventure to come.

Spurs are waiting on the fitness of Darren Anderton, who may return. I am not too upset at having to rely on Gary Doherty in place of Richards, as Doc's form has been pretty good of late when he has been required. I would like to see Anderton back, and in place of Poyet, who now has to prepare for an enforced three-match lay-off. Of course, we all look forward to another scintillating show from Stephane Dalmat, who could be the key to Spurs survival with his pace and flair. Spurs do have to find a way to replace Mauricio Taricco who will be suspended for this match, having reached 5 bookings. Maybe Spurs will revert to a 3-5-2 (just for a change!), with Ledley falling back to support Doc and Anthony Gardner, with John Jackson playing as left wing-back. Maybe Bunjee will get a rare outing under Mr. Pleat - who knows!

I'll be bold and predict a much needed Spurs win, but I think it will be close and I go for 2-1.

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