Birmingham City preview





• West Ham United travel to the Midlands looking to build on last week's impressive display at Arsenal - but this time by taking all three points as well. The Hammers have not won away in the Barclays Premier League since the first day of last season.

• This is the 83rd league meeting between the two sides. West Ham have won 27 and drawn 18 of the previous 81 contests.

• West Ham's best showing at Birmingham, was a 5-1 top-flight win on 1 November 1975. Birmingham's best home performance was a 4-0 triumph on 18 November 1961.

• West Ham lost 1-0 at St Andrews last season, with Lee Bowyer getting the only goal against his former club on 12 December 2009.

• Before that defeat, West Ham United had not lost in their previous five home and away meetings with Birmingham, all of which came in the top flight.

• Prior to last season, the Hammers previous defeat at St Andrews came on the opening day of the memorable 1985/86 season on 17 August 1985. John Lyall's team lost 1-0 but went on to finish in third place that season - still the club's best league showing.

• Since 1985, the club has won five and drawn one of their seven road trips to Birmingham.

• Freddie Piquionne scored both goals for Avram Grant's Portsmouth last season as they won 2-0 at home in the FA Cup against the Blues on 6 March 2010. That came three days before Piquionne and Grant were 2-1 losers in a Barclays Premier League encounter between the same clubs, also played at Fratton Park.


Team news

West Ham United

• Manager Avram Grant is without Thomas Hitzlsperger (thigh), Zavon Hines (knee) and Jack Collison (knee). The latter two are entering the final stages of their rehabilitation and are hoping to return around the turn of the year, Hitzlsperger has a February comeback date having had surgery on his torn muscle.

• Mark Noble will be out for around a month after having his appendix removed on Monday night. Tal Ben Haim is also sidelined with a foot injury while Junior Stanislas is battling to overcome a groin problem.

• Robert Green and Scott Parker will both hope to maintain their ever-present records this season in the Barclays Premier League. Green is on a run of 136 consecutive league starts for the club and made his 150th league appearance for West Ham at the Emirates.

• Matthew Upson could return to the starting lineup after missing the Arsenal game with a minor hamstring injury in the defeat by Newcastle United a fortnight ago.

• Julien Faubert begins a three-match suspension for his red card in the reserves at Arsenal last month.

Birmingham City

• Birmingham will again be without Garry O'Connor, with the striker set to be loaned to Barnsley as he continues his comeback from groin problems.

• James McFadden is the only other injury, with the Scotland attacker's knee ligament injury set to keep him out until February.


Last time out

West Ham United

• West Ham United came up short at Arsenal - but were desperately unlucky. Robert Green turned in an inspirational performance in goal only to be beaten by an 88nd-minute Alex Song goal.

30 October 2010
Barclays Premier League
Arsenal 1-0 West Ham United
West Ham United: Green, Gabbidon, Jacobsen, Ilunga, Da Costa, Parker, Noble, Behrami (Barrera 89), Boa Morte, Piquionne (Cole 73), Obinna (Faubert 87)
Subs not used: Stech, Kovac, Reid, Tomkins

Birmingham City

• Birmingham were dogged in defence in a gritty Midlands derby last Sunday, with Roger Johnson earning man of the match plaudits for his rearguard role. Alex McLeish's men also had a strong claim for a penalty turned down with Nigel Reo-Coker's apparent handball.

31 October 2010
Barclays Premier League
Birmingham City 0-0 Aston Villa
Birmingham City: Foster, Ridgewell, Carr, Dann, Johnson, Fahey, Larsson, Ferguson, Gardner, Hleb (Jerome 72), Zigic
Subs not used: Taylor, Madera, Bowyer, Phillips, Beausejour, Parnaby

Last meeting

West Ham United were 2-0 winners against Birmingham in a tense midweek encounter back on 10 February 2010, with Alessandro Diamanti's free-kick on the stroke of half-time easing the Hammers' relegation nerves. Carlton Cole added a second on 67 minutes to wrap up the win.

West Ham United: Green, Upson, Ilunga (Spector 45), Tomkins, Parker (Noble 86), Kovac, Behrami, Faubert, Cole, Diamanti, Mido (Ilan 66)
Subs not used: Stech, Da Costa, Collison, Stanislas

Birmingham City: Hart, Ridgewell, Carr, Dann, Gardner, Johnson, Bowyer (Madera 77), Fahey (McFadden 67), Ferguson, Jerome, Phillips
Subs not used: Taylor, Larsson, Vignal, Parnaby, Jervis


Head to head

Last six meetings (Premier League unless stated)

10 February 2010 - West Ham United 2-0 Birmingham City
12 December 2009 - Birmingham City 1-0 West Ham United
9 February 2008 - West Ham United 1-1 Birmingham City
18 August 2007 - Birmingham City 0-1 West Ham United
13 February 2006 - West Ham United 3-0 Birmingham City
05 December 2005 - Birmingham City 1-2 West Ham United

Overall record v Birmingham City (all competitions) W 31 D 19 L 38

Ten-year league records

West Ham United

2009/10 Premier League 17th (35 points)
2008/09 Premier League 9th (51 points)
2007/08 Premier League 10th (49 points)
2006/07 Premier League 15th (41 points)
2005/06 Premier League 9th (55 points)
2004/05 Championship 6th (73 points - promoted to Premier League via play-offs)
2003/04 Championship 4th (74 points)
2002/03 Premier League 18th (42 points - relegated to Championship)
2001/02 Premier League 7th (53 points)
2000/01 Premier League 15th (42 points)

Birmingham City

2009/10 Premier League 9th (50 points)
2008/09 Championship 2nd (83 points - promoted to Premier League)
2007/08 Premier League 19th (35 points - relegated to Championship)
2006/07 Championship 2nd (86 points - promoted to Premier League)
2005/06 Premier League 18th (34 points - relegated to Championship)
2004/05 Premier League 12th (45 points)
2003/04 Premier League 10th (50 points)
2002/03 Premier League 13th (48 points)
2001/02 Championship 5th (76 points - promoted to Premier League via play-offs)
2000/01 Championship 5th (78 points)


West Ham United

• Scott Parker is West Ham's leading scorer this season with four goals - the No8 has scored twice each in the Barclays Premier League and the Carling Cup. Frederic Piquionne and Mark Noble have also netted twice in the Premier League, with the Frenchman adding a third goal in the Carling Cup third-round win at Sunderland.

• Danny Gabbidon's yellow card against Fulham on 2 October was the quickest caution given to a top-flight player this season. It came after just one minute and 25 seconds.

• It is eleven matches since the Hammers scored more than once in a Barclays Premier League contest - the longest run in the top-flight. It is 22 games since the Hammers won by more than one goal.


• Ben Foster has kept four clean sheets this season, in joint-second place among top-flight goalkeepers behind Petr Cech on seven.

• Cameron Jerome has been caught offside 14 times this season, no other Premier League player has been flagged more this campaign.

• Birmingham have conceded four penalties this season, the most of the 20 top-flight teams.

• Stephen Carr is one match away from 350 Premier League appearances.

• Craig Gardner is Blues' top scorer with four goals, three of which have come in the Premier League.



• Saturday's referee is Michael Oliver, who will be taking charge of his fifth top-flight match this season. His first was Birmingham's 2-1 home win against Blackburn Rovers on 21 August.

• He has not refereed a West Ham fixture since the 3-0 win against Barnsley in the FA Cup third round on 3 January 2009. Herita Ilunga, Mark Noble and Carlton Cole were all on target

Old boys

• Matthew Upson played 128 games for the Midlands side during a four-year stay from 2003 to 2007 before joining the Hammers. The former Birmingham captain scored five goals during his time at St. Andrews.

• Lee Bowyer made 60 appearances for West Ham United in two spells. The first saw him play eleven games in a six-month spell before a move to Newcastle United in 2003. The midfielder returned to the Boleyn Ground in 2006 for a three-year stay, which saw him play 49 times, scoring five goals.

• Liam Ridgewell started off life in the West Ham United Academy before moving to Aston Villa in February 2001.

• Among the other players who have represented both clubs are Alan Curbishley, Jimmy Bloomfield, Kenny J Brown, Julian Dicks, Eamonn Dolan, Harry Hooper, David Kelly, Stan Lazaridis, Mike Newell and Sam Small.

Next up

• Avram Grant's side welcome West Bromwich Albion to the Boleyn Ground on Wednesday 10 November for the first of two home matches in four days - with fellow top-flight newcomers Blackpool arriving in east London on Saturday.

• Birmingham head back on the road for their Tuesday trip to Stoke City in the Barclays Premier League before going to Manchester City next Saturday.

Travel information

• For directions to the Boleyn Ground, click here.

General information

• For ticket information, click here

• The weather forecast for Saturday in Birmingham is for an overcast afternoon, with rain likely by kick-off. Temperatures will peak around the 11C mark.