Date:Friday August 25 2006
Birmingham City travel to Cardiff for what is widely expected to be a sell-out crowd. Tickets are forecast to be sold out by the close of dealing on Friday so make sure you do get a ticket as there will be no chance to buy on the day. Also please remember to get there early and remember the 1 O`CLOCK KICK-OFF.
Birmingham are the favourites for promotion and have a strong side, with Bruno N`Gotty and Jaidi forming a brick wall of a defence and a potent threat at set pieces. In midfield David Dunn is instrumental and new signing Gary McSheffrey was the pick of the Coventry players when they visited recently. Julian Gray, the ex-City loanee is also in the squad. Mikael Forssel, DJ Campbell, Nicklas Bentner highlight the attacking options while the game also sees a return to Ninian Park for Cameron Jerome - last years top scorer for the Bluebirds.
Jerome is less than popular in Cardiff these days following a string of naļve and ill-advised comments to the media. These began whilst still a Cardiff player and resulted in an apology to the CCFC dressing room after reports of Jerome wanting to 'play with better players` and join a bigger club. Jerome has recently given several interviews justifying his determination to leave and insisting that 'Cardiff fans have a lot to thank me for`. Assuming Jerome means his 20-goals in our reasonably successful season last year then most Bluebird fans would point to Jason Koumas` far weightier contribution with 12 goals and numerous assists. One thing City can thank Jerome for is the massive £3.5 million fee received for the promising but unproven striker. This allowed us to bring in Michael Chopra, who works much harder for the team and always looks lively, and several other players. The fact that the Jerome sale represented a 100% profit and that Hammam and Ridsdale resisted January offers for Jerome until the full asking price was met makes the deal probably the best in Bluebirds history. Jerome has made 2 appearances for BCFC so far, one he was sent off minutes into his debut and his full debut against Shrewsbury saw Jerome caught offside repeatedly and fail to make any impression on the game.
Kerrea Gilbert faces a late fitness test before the game and is rated 50:50. The familiar re-shuffling will take place if he returns with McNaughton to LB, Ledley to midfield and Flood / Parry / Kamara on the right. One enforced change follows Darren Purses suspension with Roger Johnson to come in and Riccy Scimeca take the captains armband for the day. Kevin Cooper has been added to the squad after coming through the Carling Cup defeat to Barnet without any problems.
The game is the biggest for a long time with a bumper crowd, good quality opposition in a top-of-the-league clash, lets hope it`s a good game or failing that that we scrape a 1-0 win!!
Date:Friday August 25 2006
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