West Midlands Football Blog
26th August 2016
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Wolves vs Birmingham

Dressed in gold and black, Wolves came from behind to beat the Blues 3-1 at St. Andrew’s. New signing Che Adams put the hosts in front after converting Stephen Gleeson’s cross on the 24th minute, sending Blues into the break with the lead. Walter Zenga must have said something to spur the visitors on, as two minutes after the break, Joe Mason curled a shot past Tomasz Kuszack to level the scoreline. After an hour played, Danny Batth put Wolves in front, setting them up for the win.

With three minutes left, promising youngster Jack Storer headbutted Kortney Hause and was promptly shown the red card by Keith Stroud. Minutes later Jon Dadi Bodvarsson sealed the win for the Zenga boys.

Aston Villa

Last weekend, Villa left the East Midlands with a point after a goalless draw with Derby County. It was a game in which they hit the post, the crossbar and had an effort cleared off the line. Objectively you can argue it was a good point against a Derby side, now managed by Nigel Pearson, who have been up there with the best in the league for the past few years.

Meanwhile, Mile Jedinak has been declared available for selection this weekend, after visa issues prevented him from playing a part in the draw against Derby. It will come as welcome news as Aaron Tshibola has been ruled out of the Bristol City game due to injury. Also expected to feature in the Bristol clash, is 2016 Championship and Premier League winner, Richie De Laet, who signed earlier this week. However there’s no sign yet of the “world class” striker Dr. Tony Xia has announced Villa intend to buy.

This weekend, Villa travel to Bristol, where last season, centre-back Nathan Baker played on loan. It should be a game the Villans look to win comfortably, and the fans will expect three points.

Thebestof Birmingham’s prediction: Bristol 0-2 Villa

Birmingham City

There’s less than a week left of the transfer window and the Blues don’t look like they’re going to sign anyone of the calibre that rivals Wolves and Villa have, and with almost no substantial transfer activity so far, the Blues’ current position of 14th may be their final position. Up next, the Blues welcome Norwich City to Small Heath, in a game that promises to be tough. If Gary Rowett’s men can’t overcome Wolves, how will they fare against a side recently in the Premier League, in Norwich?

Thebestof Birmingham’s prediction: Blues 0-2 Norwich

West Bromwich Albion

It’s been a bad week for the Baggies, as their first home game of the season ended in a defeat to Everton and they were knocked out of the EFL Cup by Northampton Town after a penalty shootout, despite it all starting so well. Albion opened the scoring against the Toffees as Gareth McAuley headed in Craig Gardener’s corner, but Kevin Mirallas found an equaliser in stoppage time to deny West Brom a half-time lead. After an hour played, it was former Villa boy Gareth Barry who poked in the winner. On Tuesday night it was the home team who opened the scoring again, as Zander Diamond headed in Brendan Moloney’s cross to put Northampton ahead after 36 minutes. James McClean equalised to send the teams level going into the break, before Gareth McAuley headed in Matt Phillips cross to put the Baggies in the lead two minutes into the second half. Alex Revell equalised to send the game in to a goalless extra time, which then ultimately ended in Kenji Gorre scoring the winning penalty to send Town through.

Rumours are that Jay Rodriguez could swap sunny Southampton for the Black Country with the Baggies eyeing up a loan deal for the English forward. It’ll be Albion’s second loan deal in as many days as Brendan Galloway joined from Everton.

Up next for West Brom is newly promoted Middlesbrough at the Hawthorns in a game Tony Pullis’ side will want to win.

Thebestof Birmingham’s prediction: West Brom 1-1 Boro

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Following on from their derby victory over the Blues, Walter Zenga’s men disposed of lower-league Cambridge United with a 2-1 win in the cup. Helder Costa opened the scoring with just three minutes played, before setting up Jed Wallace for Wolves’ second goal. A minute late, Medy Elito pulled one back and the game was wrapped up after 14 minutes played.

In transfer news Wolves have brought in Cameron Borthwick-Jackson from Manchester United on a season long loan. He’s a player who will add depth to Zenga’s back four.

Last weekend’s victory over West Midland rivals Birmingham City was by far the best victory thus far under Walter Zenga and it’ll give the Wolverhampton outfit ample confidence for their visit to high flying Huddersfield Town, but it might not be as easy as the Blues game.

Thebestof Birmingham’s prediction: Huddersfield 1-1 Wolves


The Saddlers continued a mixed start to the season with a 2-1 defeat to Charlton Athletic, Nicky Ajose opened the scoring for the Addicks three minutes before-half time. The home side equalised through Kieron Morris on the 72nd minute, but only two minutes later Ajose put Athletic back into lead to seal all three points. Up next Is Bury who have had a similar start to the season.

Thebestof Birmingham’s prediction: Walsall 1-0 Bury

Paget Rangers

Thebestof Birmingham’s sponsored side fared well at the weekend, overcoming Knowle with a 2-1 win. The Bears got off to a great start at the Robin’s Nest as Luke Hennessy headed the ball past his own goalkeeper to give Paget the lead. The hosts equalised shortly after the break as Christian Meadle scored from a well worked free kick, but the Bears came out on top when new signing Daniel Franklin played Daniel Carter through on goal, and last season’s second top scorer duly put the ball in the back of the net.

On Bank Holiday Monday Paget travel up the M6 to play Bloxwich Town, who sit bottom of the table with zero points. With Bloxwich struggling so far, it makes it an ideal time for Paget, who are eyeing promotion this season, to play them.

Thebestof Birmingham’s prediction: Bloxwich 0-3 Paget

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