Encks, Whitts, Jerome & Bent 'In For Some Stick' !
When Cardiff City travel to St Andrews for a difficult encounter against Birmingham City - there will be several players of interest to opposition fans and some players in particular will be awaiting a hot reception.
For Cardiff City - the former Aston Villa players can be sure of a 'warm welcome'. Peter Enckleman returns to the scene of his horrific gaffe in the Midlands derby allowing an inocous throw-in by his own defender Olaf Mellberg to roll under his foot and in.
Peter Whittingham is another ex-Villain and the bitter rivals are likely to show some acronimity for the winger.
From our point of view, Birmingham City are not exactly our favourite neighbours. Several times, the Blues appear to have swooped in late and stolen players from under our noses. The most high profile was a dramatic U-turn performed by Marcus Bent who left the Bluebirds high and dry by fleeing to Birmingham with his Cardiff contract all ready to sign. Bent was given a hard time at Ninian Park, and if he thinks City fans will have forgotten - he could be very mistaken.
Another familiar face at Birmingham City is Cameron Jerome. His recption is harder to guage after leaving Cardiff City for a 'bigger club' with 'more ambition' he did not endear himself to the Bluebirds faithful and was tormented to some extent on return to Ninian Park. Nevertheless, he scored goals for us, we got a good price and the pacy frontman has even been back to watch us a few times, observing from amongst the supporters.
The tide has swung more recently after it emerged that Cardiff City had beaten Birmingham City to the transfer of Ross McCormack from Motherwell - an astute buy as the cut-price forwardd is a real threat at this level and was leading the divisional scoring charts until back-to-back hamstring pulls slowed his progress. New winger Chris Burke was also a target for the Blues at £150k, but we got him next week for nothing. This week, long-time Cardiff City target Kris Boyd looks set to end an on-off transfer sage by joining the Blues.
This game will provide a stern test as we face a very strong team on their own patch in what promises to be an outstanding atmosphere.