Birmingham City v Manchester United
English Premier League
Saturday, 09 January 2010
Kickoff: 17:30 GMT
Blues boss Alex McLeish could name an unchanged line-up for the ninth successive league match while Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is set to ring the changes after the FA Cup exit to Leeds.
Birmingham City Preview
Manchester United may have never lost a Premier League game to Birmingham, but boss Sir Alex Ferguson could be forgiven for casting envious glances at Alex McLeish in the home dug-out.
After resting a couple of players in the FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest, McLeish looks set to field an unchanged side for the ninth league match in a row. That continuity is clearly paying dividends, with Blues unbeaten in 11 top-flight matches, one short of a new club record.
Optimism abounds amongst Bluenoses right now but the history books bring up one unfavourable omen. The last time Birmingham went 11 games unbeaten (in 1908) the streak was ended by Manchester United, and Blues ended the season bottom of the old First Division.
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Manchester United Preview
While Birmingham reap the benefits of a settled side, Ferguson looks certain to change his line-up for the 100th successive match after the poor display against Leeds. The Red Devils’ injury crisis is beginning to ease but the United rearguard continues to look vulnerable without Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
Wayne Rooney may be on course for his most prolific campaign at Old Trafford, but his partnership with Dimitar Berbatov is yet to gel. The Bulgarian has scored six league goals but none of those have come against a side higher than 10th in the current table.
The Red Devils have not lost to Birmingham since 1978. That was the year that Sir Alex Ferguson took over at Aberdeen, advising McLeish (then a young defender at Pittodrie) to give up his accountancy studies and focus on a career in football instead.
Birmingham City v Manchester United Predictions
Birmingham have kept nine clean sheets so far – Chelsea are the only top-flight side to register more shut-outs (10). On the away side, the Red Devils have lost three of their last six league and cup games. Each of their seven defeats this season has been followed by a victory.
Soccerlens Prediction: Birmingham City 1-2 Manchester United
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Watch Birmingham City v Manchester United Online
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