Date:Friday October 3 2008
On Saturday lunchtime, Rangers will travel to the Midlands to take on Birmingham City in the lunchtime kick off, in the live Sky game.
Vital QPR writer, Nik, runs the rule over the Blues recent history.
A look at the Birmingham squad shows just why they are one of the favourites for promotion at the end of the Season. Having kept the majority of the squad that were relegated from the Premiership last season, including the likes of Swedish international Sebastian Larsson, Martin Taylor, Cameron Jerome and Gary McSheffrey, Birmingham strengthened further, adding Marcus Bent, Qwincy Owusu-Abeyie and Kevin Phillips to what has got to be one of, if not the strongest squad in the Championship.
The Blues have started this season fairly well, finding themselves 2nd in the table with 20 points from 9 games. Strikers Cameron Jerome, Qwincy Owusu-Abeyie and Kevin Phillips have all started the season positively, each with three goals already. Despite being defeated by hard-working Blackpool, Birmingham`s home form has generally been excellent, picking up nine points out of a possible 12, conceding only once in the process. Birmingham `s away form has been even better, with 11 points being accumulated from the first five away games.
Birmingham have found themselves 'yo-yoing` between the Premiership and the Championship in recent years. Relegated from England `s top tier in 2006, the club bounced straight back into the Premiership the next year, winning automatic promotion after winning four games in a row. In the 2007-08 season, manager Steve Bruce left the club and was replaced by ex Scotland and Rangers manager, Alex McLeish. However, the new gaffer could not keep the club up, and they were relegated from the Premiership last season. Birmingham are one of the bookies` favourites for promotion this season, and their encouraging start has shown that yet another promotion to the Premiership could come much sooner rather than later.
The club find themselves playing their home games at St Andrews, a 30,000 seater stadium that is definitely fit for Premiership football. The Blues were formed in 1875, and cite Midlands rivals Aston Villa as their bitter rivals.
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