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Rovers V Birmingham Preview.


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Unlike last weekend, when Halsey became the centre of attraction, my biggest hope for this weekend, is that on Monday morning Barry Knight is an anonymous figure and it's names like Kugi, Bellamy, Pedersen, and Bentley for Rovers or even Birmingham's Dunn, that hit the headlines due to the entertainment factor of Saturday game.

Thanks to the FA seeing sense on the Zurab red card and with Bellamy and Todd reported to have recovered from injury, Hughes should have a virtually full strength squad to choose from, for a game that Rovers have never won in the premiership.

Mind you Rovers have only played Birmingham in the Premiership at Ewood Park 3 times, each game ending in a draw, the corresponding fixture last season ending 3-3. Rovers. Jansen,Reid,Gallagher. - Birmingham Anderton,Savage,Dunn.

The self proclaimed big club havent been in the Premiership as long as Rovers.

A win for Rovers will root Birmingham in the bottom three of the league, whilst Rovers could reach the heights of 8th in the league, a far cry from last season when Rovers were bottom of the table after the corresponding fixture.

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Saturday's game is like Old Boys Reunited, a game that could be a heated affair, bearing in mind Robbie Savage will want to get one over on his old club, following his protracted transfer last January.

Ex Rovers players, Dunn, Johnson and Tiny Taylor, if selected, should get a warm reception from Rovers supporters prior to kick off, however I suspect Savage will get a different reception from the travelling Brummie fans, in the Darwen End of the ground.

Barry Knight will need to keep a level head and realise the passion involved, without becoming the centre of attraction, dealing out cards like some poker player. Mind you the stats don't bode well, with an average of 3 yellow cards per game, Mr Knight has already done a Halsey, in issuing a red card in a game that was later rescinded. (Sunderland's Andy Welsh had a red card rescinded after being sent off by Knight in the game against, wait for it, Liverpool).

If all players are declared fit I would suggest Hughes will start with the same team as last weekend with Bellamy replacing Dickov up front.

Possible team



Neill, Khizanishvili, Nelsen, Gray,

Bentley, Tugay, Savage, Pedersen,

Bellamy, Kuqi.

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