This is an article that will appear in this Saturday’s Made In Brum magazine, priced at £1.50 from sellers around St.Andrews.
Well, here it is, the longest awaited home leg of all time. Poor Swansea fans must have been praying for Bristol Rovers to do the business! It’s nearer to home and – supposedly – an easier tie!
Last time out, we managed to hammer the Swans 3-1 (we had 60% possession!), with goals from Burn, Green and Adeyemi. Not much chance of repeating the scorers, with two out injured and the other back at Fulham, but is there a chance of repeating the scoreline?
You’d have to err on the side of caution and say “Lightning doesn’t strike twice!” really, wouldn’t you? A lot could depend on how likely Laudrup is to make wholesale changes again. Last time, he changed ten players from the previous league game to face us and it was a decision he must have regretted. That being said, it’s the prerogative of all Premiership managers to rotate their teams, to safeguard against injury and sheer discontent in what must be a much more experienced and costly squad than ours.
You’d have to fancy Doyle and Robinson to start the match, Reilly, Hancox, Caddis, Ferguson and Burke making up the numbers. Seven players from our previous starting lineup seems to suggest we have still got enough in the tank to beat a reduced Swansea squad. But how is the ‘full’ Swansea squad faring? Laudrup is rumoured to be heading for the exit in the Summer, whatever this season’s outcome, which is shocking really, considering the difference he’s made to the club. The likes of Zigic weren’t even on the bench, though we’ve obviously got Albert Rusnak and Brian Howard in, in the last fortnight.
They knocked Man United out of the Cup to get to meet us, but in all fairness, it’s not the full strength United team. Other than that, since losing to us in the Carling Cup – I mean Capital One Cup of course – they’ve progressed to the knockout stages of the Europa League (thanks Glais!), lost four home league games, lost five away league games, including Man United’s ‘revenge’ and couldn’t even manage to beat the Vile at Villa Park…and you know EVERYBODY beats the Vile at Villa Park under Lambert. I shouldn’t gloat too much, we’re not the holders of ‘Fort’ status this season, are we?
Swansea are sitting in 15th in the Prem at present, a mere three points above relegation, yet only three points behind the Vile who seem curiously sat in tenth, for all the wailing and gnashing of teeth that have been coming from the Vile Park Day Nursery at Bodymoor Heath.
Wilfried Bony would obviously be the man to look out for, after his 90th minute goal against us, denied us a clean sheet against Premier League opposition.
The mighty Blues have won two, lost two and drawn one of our last five, which reflects poorly on us when you take into account our proud unbeaten run ending at Brighton.
53% of our fans on BCFC.COM think we can go ‘far’ in the FA Cup this season. 43% say we won’t and 4% would ‘rather not say’. I don’t quite understand why people who don’t want to say bother to vote in these things, but it certainly shows you just how muddled Blues fans seem to be at the moment. We’re split pretty much 50/50 on blind optimism and melancholy.
I’m going to predict a 2-1 to our Blues, just because I feel like it! Goals from Novak and Howard. Blind optimism? You bet.
Keep Right On!