Birmingham need to recover their defensive resolve to climb table
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish knows his side must try harder to emulate their defensive displays of last season if they are to avoid a relegation battle during the current campaign.
McLeish led his side to ninth in the final Premier League standings last season and despite their apparent shyness in front of goal, the fact they only conceded 47 times across their 38 games proved a major advantage.
However, Birmingham have conceded 17 goals already this season, including letting in five in their last two Premier League games.
This has inevitably resulted in a struggle for victories and just two wins in their opening 12 games has led to them sitting just one place outside of the relegation places.
McLeish said after their 3-2 defeat at Stoke: “We’ve lost too many goals that are uncharacteristic for us and there was another couple here tonight.
“We’re losing too many goals like that and that’s why where we are in the table.”
The only change to the Birmingham rearguard has been in goal as Ben Foster came in over the summer to replace Joe Hart, who returned to Manchester City after spending a year on loan at St Andrews.
Meanwhile, in a bid to become more attacking, McLeish has adjusted his midfield set-up, which could have a detrimental effect on the team’s defensive displays.
Birmingham are now 3/1 to be relegated from the Premier League this season and they will hope to take some positive steps up the table when they travel to Manchester City next.
However, the omens are not good for a Birmingham win as they have lost in their last four trips to Manchester City and conceded 13 goals in the process.
Birmingham are 6/1 to beat Manchester City, with the hosts unsurprisingly heavy favourites at 2/5 to secure the three points.
Carlos Teves and Emmanuel Adebayor both scored doubles as Manchester City beat Birmingham 5-1 at Eastlands last season. See the full Manchester City vs Birmingham match betting odds market.