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Match Previews

Preview: Birmingham City

28 March 2013

A few weeks ago Birmingham were struggling towards the foot of the table but a run of just one defeat in their last six games has seen them climb into the top half of the Championship table. 

Having been thumped by Hull 5-2 earlier at the start of the month, Lee Clark's side have turned things around by securing a draw against Blackpool before back-to-back wins against Derby County and Middlesbrough.

On their travels this season they've picked up six wins and six draws but will be without their top scorer Marlon King who has plundered 14 goals this campaign, with Nikola Zigic chipping in with eight.

Crystal Palace: Wilfired Zaha is suspended but Joel Ward, Danny Gabbidon and Alex Nimely could be involved after recovering from their injuries. New signing Aruna Dindane is unlikely to feature due to a lack of match fitness and Jacob Butterfield has returned to Norwich City after his loan deal expired. Stephen Dobbie is available again after being ineligible for the Brighton game but Owen Garvan and Paddy McCarthy remain out.

Birmingham City: Jonathan Spector is doubtful to play due to an ankle injury but young full back Mitch Hancox has overcome a hamstring problem. Peter Lovenkrands is also likely to be in contention after missing the win against Middlesbrough, but striker Marlon King is out for the season after undergoing a knee operation. Clark has strengthened his squad with the loan signing of Barnet midfielder Olly Lee, son of former Newcastle and England international Robert.

Referee: Robert Madley
Assistants: Ian Cooper and Michael George
Fourth Official‭ : Andy Woolmer

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD: (home and away)
Palace winsDrawsBirmingham wins
FA Cup111
League Cup120

Although the clubs had been drawn together in the FA Cup back in January 1915, the first league encounters between us took place in the 1965/66 season in Division Two following Birmingham’s relegation. An opening day defeat at St. Andrews in August 1965 was avenged when Birmingham made their first ever visit to Selhurst Park in January 1966 and a solitary goal from Brian Whitehouse was sufficient to ensure victory.

The clubs have spent three seasons in the top flight together whereas the remainder have been at this level. Our only success in Division One at home came in the disastrous 1980/81 season when the Eagles won 3-1 in April 1981. Tommy Langley scored twice and Steve Lovell got the other goal in front of our lowest ever attendance for a top-flight game. 

Just over 6,000 saw the Eagles score six goals in 35 minutes in March 1987. Just before half-time Ian Wright scored twice to put Palace in the driving seat and a minute into the second half Andy Gray virtually killed off the Blues with one of his specials from distance. Kevin Taylor was on hand to net the loose ball for number four before skipper Jim Cannon made sure he kept up his record of scoring at least once in every season he played for the first team. 15 minutes from time Tony Finnigan completed the rout as he headed home from Alan Irvine’s corner kick.

Birmingham’s last visit here was for a Championship fixture on Monday 19th December 2011 that was also broadcast live on television. Darren Ambrose and Kagisho Dikgacoi combined to score the only goal of the game six minutes from time when the South African moved in front of a defender and glanced home Ambrose’s cross. The three points took Palace up to eighth in the table and just two points off a play-off position.

Category B prices apply for this game but the club have extended our £5 Family Stand offer for under 10s to the Main Stand as the match is on a bank holiday.

Click here to buy your tickets now or if not call the box office on 08712 00 00 71. 

Due to the game taking place on a bank holiday, please remember that trains may be running on a slightly different timetable than usual.

Entry to the ground will be available from 3pm.

Bar opening times
The Glaziers Bar will be open from 2.30pm before all the other bars open at 3pm.

Matchday programme
This week's main interview is with right-back Jazz Richards who speaks about his time away with Wales alongside the rest of the Eagles' Welsh contingent and his hopes for the future with his contract expiring at the end of the season. We also caught up with Andre Moritz to find out about his quicker than expected recovery from injury, plus there's all the news from the top of the club with the usual columns from Ian Holloway, Steve Parish and Mile Jedinak. All this, plus the usual features, stats and previews are available for just £3.

Palace to win: 5/6
Draw: 14/5
Birmingham to win: 15/4

Don't forget that the whole 90 minutes will be LIVE on Palace Player - CLICK HERE to subscribe or to login if you are already a member of the Player service. 

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