Throughout the mid to late 00’s, Birmingham City had become known as a yoyo club because of the way they’d get promoted one season and then relegated the next. Birmingham were last relegated to the Championship at the end of the 2010-11 season, where they have been for five seasons since. It was nearly a straight return for the Blues after they finished fourth in the 2011-12 season, but were sadly denied in the playoffs by Blackpool. Two seasons later, they flirted with relegation before they were saved by a stoppage time equaliser from Paul Caddis. With two tenth place finishes in a row, is a surprise promotion on the cards for Birmingham this season?
Results So Far
This season marks Birmingham City’s first with 888sport as their new shirt sponsor. It was a very impressive start for the Blues as they lost only once in their first 11 games, in fact, they even enjoyed a seven game unbeaten streak, which was then halted by Nottingham Forest. Most recently, they lost to Newcastle United, but that was to be expected as the Magpies have retained most of their players from their Premier League relegation, and look sure to win the Championship with Rafa Benitez at the helm.
With 20 games played, eight wins, seven draws and five losses, Birmingham are in relatively healthy condition as they sit in 8th place. Furthermore, they are only two points behind Leeds united who sit in 6th, which would ensure them a Championship play-off place. Manager, Gary Rowett will be keen for his side to get back to winning ways when they take on Ipswich Town this week. The rest of their festive fixtures include Brighton and trips to Derby and Barnsley. Four successive wins would help Birmingham climb back into the top six, where they would be in firm control of their promotion destiny. Birmingham have already crashed out of the EFL Cup in the first round to League One side Oxford United, but to be honest, Rowett is probably happier without the distraction. They will meet Newcastle again in the New Year, this time in the FA Cup, but apart from that Birmingham can five the league their full attention.
Quality Of Squad
Lukas Jutkiewicz, on loan from the promoted Burnley, has undoubtedly been Birmingham’s star player having scored five goals in 14 appearances. The striker, who is eligible to play for England, Republic of Ireland and Poland, has declared that he’d be happy to move to Birmingham on a permanent basis. Clayton Donaldson, top goalscorer of the past two seasons, has picked up right where he left off by scoring another five goals to date, and this year he’ll be receiving healthy competition from Jutkiewicz fir top scorer. Polish goalkeeper, Tomasz Kuszczak is now in his second season at the midlands club, where has been first choice, when available, ever since. The former Manchester United stopper is an experienced pair of hands and provides Birmingham with the foundations of a strong spine.