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Birmingham prediction

Back to Premiership action this Saturday following the international break (has it really only been two weeks?), with a couple of worries with players coming back with slight knocks (Petrov), on the back of a physically demanding trip (Richards, Elano) or indeed, other issues (Ireland).

Much talk has been of Elano and his potential jet-lag, with Eriksson leaving the decision to him but I expect him to at least start the game with Geovanni perhaps getting half an hour or so.

Birmingham come into this game a little unsettled off the field with Bolton having an approach for manager Steve Bruce turned down. On the pitch, Birmingham have started well in parts this season with a couple of good results and performances, but lie just above the relegation places and I doubt they will approach this game with too much ambition other than to come away with a point from the trip.

One of the criticisms labelled against Sven during his england reign (how funny to look at his 'underachievement' eh?) was being unable to hold onto a lead, yet it is quite the opposite in charge of us, as scoring first guarantees the three points so far this season.

Much like the Middlesbrough game, this is a game we should be well capable of winning and I expect us to do so. Three goals has been a feature of the past few games, and whilst I don't expect another three this game, we should come away comfortably with all three points and I'd go for a 2-0 win.

As an aside to this, has there been a home game as heavily publicised in the press and on radio as this one? The 'Just Like Watching Brazil' ads have been all over this past week and is it a sign that a less than bumper attendance is expected - despite this being a rarer than rare occurence, a 3pm Saturday kick off?