Meet the opposition | Birmingham City

1st April
First team
Guehi v Birmingham

As Swansea City get set to visit Birmingham City, we take a closer look at the form and history of the hosts.

 

What’s their story?

The Blues have spent the majority of their 141-year history in the top flight, but are currently in their 10th consecutive season in the Championship following their Premier League relegation in 2011.

They have finished higher than 10th on only one occasion during that time and they have battled relegation in four of the previous seven campaigns.

The Midlands club have won two FA Cups and two League Cups, with the most recent of those successes coming in 2011 when they stunned Arsenal in the League Cup final at Wembley as Obafemi Martins scored a last-gasp winner.

 

How's their form?

Having won just four of their last 22 games, the Blues are not locked in a relegation battle. Those results also led to the departure of Aitor Karanka as their manager last month.

Their most recent win came against Reading, who the Blues have beaten twice in the league this term, while they have have also won at Bristol City and came out on top against Brentford on home turf.

Their last outing saw them convincingly beaten 3-0 by promotion-chasing Watford.

Lee Bowyer

Who’s the boss?

Lee Bowyer. The former Blues midfielder returned to the club midway through March to replace Karanka.

Bowyer left Charlton - a club he started his playing career with - to take up the position with Birmingham, with his first task firmly on moving the Blues away from the relegation spots.

After starting his playing career with Charlton, Bowyer spent seven years at Leeds United before taking in spells with West Ham, Newcastle United, Birmingham and Ipswich Town before hanging up his boots. He also won one cap for England.

 

Who’s the captain?

Harlee Dean. The centre-back's career has taken an interesting route, starting in League Two and moving down to the Isthmian League Division One North before featuring in the Conference South and Conference Premier. Joined Southampton, then in League One, but failed to make an appearance for the Saints, and headed back to Conference South for game-time. His career really got back on track following a loan move to Brentford in 2011, in a move that was made permanent at the end of the season.

A solid figure for the Bees, he helped them to Championship promotion in 2014, and was a permanent fixture in their team until he joined the Blues in 2017. Dean has made over 150 appearances for Birmingham.

Harlee Dean

Who are the key men?

Keeper Neil Etheridge has been the Blues' No.1 this season, with the former Cardiff stopper keeping a clean sheet on his debut against the Swans in September. In front of him, Frenchman Maxime Colin and Dane Kristian Pederson have been regulars full-backs, while up front, Scott Hogan and big Lukas Jutkiewicz provide different challenges for opposition defences.

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