Birmingham v Arsenal preview
Birmingham should be wary of Arsenal vengeance after they took advantage of The Gunners' naivety last month.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 22/02/08 10:59am
Birmingham City should be wary of Arsenal vengeance after they took advantage of The Gunners' naivety last month.
Alex McLeish's men pounced on a lacklustre Arsenal performance at Emirates Stadium in January, grasping a deserved 1-1 draw.
Cup competitions aside, Arsenal have scrubbed themselves of this blemish, claiming four successive triumphs as their race for Premier League glory continues.
Birmingham, meanwhile, have the pressing affliction of a relegation battle weighing heavily on their shoulders.
Blues have demonstrated guts since McLeish took over; however with just two wins in 12 league fixtures, there is cause for concern.
The Scotsman's side sit outside the relegation zone on goal difference, but with their next three games all at home, they will be anxious to turn St Andrews - where they have picked up just 13 points all season - into a fortress.
Birmingham's joint-top scorer Olivier Kapo - with five goals to his name this campaign - returns after serving a suspension, and the leggy Frenchman could partner January acquisition James McFadden up front.
The Gunners will be aware that success would see them extend their lead at the summit of the table to eight points, with Manchester United not playing until the early evening kick-off.
Arsene Wenger is without Kolo Toure after the centre-back injured his calf in the midweek UEFA Champions League clash against Milan.
The free-scoring Emmanuel Adebayor faces a late fitness test on a stiff neck, but Manuel Almunia is expected to return in goal after recovering from a virus.
Emmanuel Eboue is suspended while the game comes too soon for the injury-plagued Robin van Persie.