In a new preview feature for The Little Yellow Bird, our writers take a short amount of time considering the opposition before making bold and probably incorrect predictions about the match. So what do Rich Jeffery, Clare Thomas, Zoë Whitford and Seb Ward make of Birmingham?
This is all about ‘Arry. ‘Arry’s never ‘appier than when he’s wheelin’ and dealin’ with a foreign owner’s money. To this end it’s been a classic ‘Arry transfer window. He’s been ‘angin’ aht of ‘is car windah signing lots of ‘triffic’ players who’ll ‘do a job’ - 13 in total, i.e. one less than us. So much so that it’s hard to pick out what team he’ll put out and how they’ll play. One man we hope will be in the team is our two goal hero from last season David Stockdale. Aim for the posts lads!
Birmingham have added experience, quality, pace, strength, guile and, despite his rep as a chequebook manager, Redknapp is a decent coach who will get them playing. Will he be able to get them playing in time for Saturday though? That, my little yellow birds, is the question.
Apart from simply loads of other things, one thing that we and Birmingham City have in common is that our current club crests were both designed by supporters following competitions run by the club/local press.
Ours was designed by Andrew Anderson and has been used from 1971 onwards. Birmingham’s was designed by Michael Wood in 1972 (though it wasn’t worn on their shirts until 1976).
So, 1-0 to the Norwich already.
RJ: Birmingham don’t strike me as a long-ball team, which will obviously suit us, though they did retain Lukas Jutkiewicz, who I remember as a bit of a handful last season, so our defensive mettle will be sure to be tested on way or the other. With Super Grant Hanley (The Norwich Number 31) slammed into our creaky defence, I’m optimistic of a better defensive display.
Rich Reckons: A much needed home win. 2-1.
CT: Will Farke have solved all our problems during the international break? Will Grant Hanley be the answer to our defensive woes? Will Nelson Oliveira come out wearing his Portugal shirt? So many questions. With ‘Arry signing half a team on deadline day it's hard to know how Birmingham will perform. But with both teams being unrecognisable from last season, and having identical records so far this, I'm being a coward and going for a draw.
Clare Calculates: A frustrating 1-1.
ZW: I’m going on Saturday lads, and my home record was nigh-on immaculate last year. Let’s not talk about my away record. So we’re bound to win, right? For once the international break seemed to come at the perfect time for Norwich, as heads were down and confidence was low. Saturday can be a new start for everyone. Birmingham should be better than on their visit to Carrow Road last season, but it’s difficult to know what else to expect, apart from the sound of a few creaking limbs whirring their way back into life. This is a game City (Norwich City) need to win, so I’m optimistic this will be a promising display.
Zoë Assumes: Beautiful flowing football with only one defensive howler. 3-1
SW: Ah yes, Birmingham. Home of the UK’s least popular accent and an equally stuttering football team. Normally international breaks are an agonising delay but for Birmingham it will have provided a valuable period in which to welcome Harry’s party platter of deadline day additions. Jota, their new record signing, has proved a handful in the past, scoring in *that* game where Steven Whittaker played centre-midfield.
However, it is both the visitors’ scoring record so far this season — they have managed just three — and also the fact our defence surely can’t get any worse, that provides me with some optimism. If anything it was an astute bit of game management at Millwall to deliberately hit rock-bottom so that the only way is up, up, up, to infinity, the Premier League, and beyond. Farke’s addition of Hanley and Klose’s return to training means there is the possibility we might see a totally new CB partnership.
It’s the worst attack vs. the worst defence, and you’re telling me it wasn’t picked for Sky Sports?!
Seb Foresees: A nervy but hard-earned 1-0 win.