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Monday, December 25, 2006

QPR vs Birmingham on Boxing Day: Present & Past Links

QPR travel to top-of-the-table Birmingham for a Boxing Day game (3pm kick off). Birmingham are having a special 100 Year celebration before that game.
Birmingham's home record: 7 Wins - 3 Draws 1 defeat F:20 A:9 (QPR's Away Record: 2 wins 3 draws 5 defeats F:14 A:19 - Table
Birmingham's Results this Season - RESULTS
Birmingham's squad - squad

QPR-Birmingham Link
Among the former Birmingham players who've played for QPR: David Seaman, Barry Bridges, Trevor Francis and Paul Furlong. And QPR players who were sold to Birmingham include Mike Kelly and Don Givens Among the former Birmingham players who've played for QPR: David Seaman, Barry Bridges, Trevor Francis, Paul Furlong and Manchester United hattrick hero, Dennis Bailey. And QPR players who've played for Birmingham include Mike Kelly and Don Givens and hattrick hero, Dennis Bailey. Manager Jim Smith managed Birmingham and later QPR. Trevor Francis managed QPR and later Birmingham.
Manager Jim Smith managed Birmingham and later QPR. Trevor Francis managed QPR and later Birmingham.

LAST MEETING: In September, Gary Waddock's QPR lost 0-2 to Birmingham at Loftus Road even though Birmingham had a player sent off after an hour.
The teams that day:
QPR: P Jones, Rose, Rehman (Baidoo 74), Stewart, Milanese, Oliseh, Ward, Bircham, Cook, Blackstock (R Jones 46), Nygaard. - Subs: Cole, Bailey, Kanyuka.
Birmingham City: Taylor, Larsson, Dunn (Kilkenny 75), Campbell (Jerome 70), Danns, N'Gotty, Johnson, Jaidi, Muamba (Taylor 94), Bendtner, McSheffrey.
Subs: Doyle, Forssell.
Scorers: N'Gotty 23, Jerome 91 Bookings: Johnson 38, Dunn 51, Bendtner 66 & 67. Red Cards: Bendtner 67 QPR OFFICIAL MATCH REPORT

SPORTING LIFE - TEAM NEWSSteve Bruce will be boosted by the return of midfielder Seb Larsson and striker Cameron Jerome for the St Andrews clash with QPR. Both players missed the 4-0 win over Southend at Roots Hall while serving one-game bans triggered after collecting five yellow cards.
But midfielder David Dunn is unlikely to be risked, despite his return to training following hamstring problems, while striker Mikael Forssell is a month-and-a-half away from a comeback following knee surgery.
Bruce said: "Four games in 10 days is a big ask and it can define your season, so this is a crucial period for us.
"We think 13 more wins will take us where we want to get to.
"We started at Southend and if we can get two or three wins back-to-back it will make it very much easier." Meanwhile, QPR boss John Gregory has no fresh injury or suspension worries heading into the St Andrews clash....Sporting Life

Birmingham Official Site -BLUES v QPR - 100 YEARS TO THE DAY!
100 YEARS OF FOOTBALL AT ST. ANDREW'S Blues v Queens Park Rangers Tuesday 26 December 2006 Kick-off: 3pm

Boxing Day games are notoriously jovial affairs with fans still high in the festive spirit, but this year it promises to be even more special for the visit of QPR on December 26 as we celebrate the 100 year anniversary of St. Andrew's.
If the crucial Championship clash against John Gregory's side was not attraction enough, we have plenty of off-the-field activities to make sure our anniversary party really goes with a swing.
There will ve cheerleaders, jugglers, fire eaters, a parade, giveaways, competitions, pitch entertainment plus much more.
100 years of St. Andrew'sIt is sure to be a fantastic and historic occasion. Come along and help us to celebrate 100 years of football at our famous old ground. Birmingham

100 years of St. Andrew'sCome and join the party which starts at 2pm on Boxing Day here at St. Andrew's.
We have cheerleaders, jugglers, fire eaters, a parade, plus lots more, so don't miss out on the fun.
The first 1000 people through the gates can pick up a voucher to get 50p off a pint of Carlsberg and don't forget to get your noses painted as you come through the turnstiles!
We have giveaways, competitions and pitch entertainment to celebrate this momentous occasion, so make sure your down the ground for 2pm when the party begins!
If you're seated in the Tilton Road make look under your seats to see how you can be part of a special celebration which will be revealed 15 mins before kick off. Birmingham

As Blues prepare to celebrate 100 years of St. Andrew's at the Boxing Day clash against QPR, boss Steve Bruce has admitted that the famous old ground can produce an atmosphere that can not be rivalled anywhere else in this country.
Bruce recently celebrated five years as Blues manager and he picked out the first Premiership game against Villa as the highlight of his time at the helm.
And the Blues boss said: "It was really hostile that night and it was like something that I have only experienced before in Turkey at Galatasary.
"There was really good atmosphere about the place on that evening and our aim is to try and get that back."
Bruce also paid tribute to the owners who have financed the redevelopment of the stadium to turn it into one of the best sporting arenas in England.
"I think I played here for the first time with Norwich in a cup-tie in the 1980's when the stadium was on its last legs," continued Bruce.
"Fair play to the owners because three-quarters of it is now done to make it a really good ground.
"This is a club with great history and tradition, despite the fact that we've never won anything.
"The club will always be bigger than any individual and it means a lot to the community.
"It will be great to celebrate 100 years of St. Andrew's." Birmingham

QPR Official Site - Look At Birmingham
Jimmy Greaves once described football as 'a funny old game' and Birmingham's season so far certainly fits the bill
The Blues are currently perched nicely at the summit of the Championship - five points clear of nearest rivals Preston North End and with five victories to their name from their last six fixtures.
However, the current feel-good factor at St Andrews is worlds apart from the noises that were coming our of the Birmingham camp six weeks or so ago, when a barren losing run saw Brum fans calling for Steve Bruce's head.
Yet despite vocal appeals for his sacking, the Birmingham board kept faith in the former Manchester United skipper and their reward for persevering with him has been quite emphatic.
A 1-0 victory at Pride Park in mid-October, courtesy of a last-gasp Stephen Clemence strike, sparked what can only be described as a sensational revival at the Midlands club.
A Gary McSheffrey double put bitter rivals West Brown to the sword seven days later, before Nicklas Bendtner notched the only goal of the game against in-form Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena.
Radhi Jaidi bagged the winner at Home Park - the home of Plymouth Argyle - to continue the winning streak, as the Blues slowly but surely lived up to their pre-season billing as Championship favourites.
McSheffrey was at it again versus Barnsley, scoring the opening goal in a 2-0 victory, in a match which also saw Neil Danns hit the target for the first time since his summer switch from Colchester United.
Wolves - and Jody Craddock - briefly stemmed the Blue tide with a late, late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at St Andrews, only for Birmingham to respond in stunning style with a 2-1 win against fellow high-fliers Burnley at Turf Moor.
Southampton inflicted a first defeat in eight Championship fixtures on the Blues in a seven goal thriller at St Mary's, but the Blues wasted no time in getting that result of their system by registering a 3-0 win over Ian Holloway's Plymouth Argyle side.
Hot-shot McSheffrey enhanced his reputation as the Championship's in-form striker with a superb treble against Preston, before bagging another in a 3-0 romp at Sheffield Wednesday a week later.
Birmingham overpowered struggling Southend to go five points clear at the top of the Championship table on Saturday.
DJ Campbell put Birmingham ahead after eight minutes, taking Gary McSheffrey's pass to score from 18 yards.
Stephen Clemence doubled the lead seven minutes before half-time, shooting into the ground and over Darryl Flahavan.
McSheffrey's free-kick made it three after 54 minutes and Radhi Jaidi's header rounded things off six minutes before the end....
Last league game: Southend United 0, Birmingham City 4.
Coca Cola Championship. December 23rd 2006.
Birmingham City: Maik Taylor, Kelly, Jaidi, Upson, Sadler, Johnson, Nafti, Clemence (Muamba 82), McSheffrey (Danns 73), Campbell, Bendtner (Kilkenny 78).
Subs Not Used: Doyle, Martin Taylor.
Blues gaffer Steve Bruce: "We are on course and have a chance. Fifteen players have gone since last season and we have brought in a lot of younger players.
"It has been a huge turnaround, so we are delighted it has clicked and it can only get better.
"It was a potential banana skin coming here because we are top and they are bottom, so it was a good win."
Superhoopsbet.co.uk match odds:
Birmingham 1/3
QPR 7/1
Draw 10/3
Key player: Gary McSHEFFREY
Gary McSheffrey joined Blues from Midlands neighbours Coventry in August 2006 for a substantial fee.
The 24-year-old striker had been a long time target of boss Steve Bruce, who put in no less than four bids for the player, before finally capturing him.
The former England under 20 international has an abundance of pace and excellent technical ability and can play on either the left of midfield or as an outright striker.

Head to head: Birmingham wins: 19
QPR wins: 9
Draws: 13
Last meeting: Queens Park Rangers 0, Birmingham City 2 (N'Gotty, Jerome).
Football League Championship.
September 12th 2006.
Latest News: Dunn tipped for Blackburn return
Birmingham City may be prepared to let midfielder David Dunn return to Blackburn Rovers in January.
He has said he would consider a move back to his hometown club and BBC Sport understands Birmingham would place no obstacles in his way if Rovers came in.
Dunn, 26, has been capped once by England but his three years with Blues have been blighted by injury and he has made only 12 appearances this season.
Birmingham paid £5.5m when they signed Dunn from Blackburn in July 2003.
(Source: www.bbc.co.uk/sport) QPR Official

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