Opposition watch: Birmingham City

The low-down on Saturday's opponents from St Andrew's

With Wanderers currently holding the upper hand in this fixture with 50 wins as opposed to Birmingham’s 41 in all competitions, the Whites will be hoping that their impressive record in this clash continues come Saturday afternoon.

With the Blues having last emerged victorious on Bolton soil in October 2003 when a solitary Mikael Forssell strike secured all three points for the St Andrew’s outfit, Wanderers have certainly proven themselves a force to be reckoned with ever since, winning four and drawing two of the last six meetings at BL6.

With Birmingham making the trip to the North West this weekend needing a positive result to stand any chance of maintaining their status amongst England’s second tier however, Lee Clark’s men will no doubt be going all out to eradicate their recent poor record on Reebok soil.

Currently residing a point adrift of safety after a testing campaign, the Blues will also be relying on results elsewhere with Doncaster Rovers in 21st position set to face off against league champions Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

The Blues know that they must better the Vikings’ result against the Foxes to remain in the Championship come full time on Saturday courtesy of their superior goal difference, but they travel up from the Midlands on the back of five consecutive defeats.

The latest of which came on Tuesday evening against Wigan Athletic at St Andrew’s, Birmingham have struggled to make their mark on home soil this term having recorded a return of just two league victories out of a possible 23 games.

On their travels however, Clark’s men have challenged up there with the league’s pacesetters having picked up an impressive nine wins on the road during the course of the season, including victories away at their relegation rivals Doncaster and Millwall in recent weeks.

The form of on-loan frontman Federico Macheda has certainly played its part in ensuring that the Blues have maintained a fighting chance of survival as the season heads towards its conclusion, with the Manchester United youngster having found the back of the net on no less than ten occasions since January.

A record which leaves him just a goal behind top goalscorer Lee Novak heading into the final game of the campaign, Wanderers will certainly have to be on their guard to keep the Italian at bay this weekend.

With the Whites keen to bounce back from a narrow defeat at the hands of Leicester in their last outing at the Reebok to finish their own campaign with a flourish however, Saturday’s midday meeting looks set to be a fiery contest.
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