Tottenham will bid to strengthen their grip on fourth place at St Andrew’s against a Birmingham side who will be aiming to bounce straight back after having their 15-match unbeaten run ended by Chelsea in midweek. Spurs will hope to have Croatian midfielder Niko Kranjcar available again while the home side could give a debut to new arrival Craig Gardner following his move from Aston Villa this week.

Quick Check

Birmingham City

  • Birmingham’s defeat at Chelsea in midweek was there first in 16 games.
  • The Blues are unbeaten at St Andrew’s for more than three months.
  • Striker Cameron Jerome has scored four goals in his last six Premier League matches.
  • Spanish midfielder Michel is set to make his league debut after his £3 million move from Sporting Gijon.
  • Sebastian Larsson has scored two goals in his last three appearances against Tottenham.
  • Striker Kevin Phillips is battling to overcome a groin strain.
  • Defender Stuart Parnaby is struggling to overcome a back problem.
  • Midfielder Lee Carsley will be sidelined for another month by ankle ligament damage.
  • Striker Garry O’Connor is out for at least another month after complications arising from groin surgery.

Tottenham Hotspurs

  • Niko Kranjcar is hoping to recover from illness to feature.
  • Tottenham have kept clean sheets in seven of their last nine games.
  • Striker Peter Crouch is bidding to score for the third match running.
  • Spurs have lost only one of their last five fixtures on the road.
  • The last three meetings between the teams have produced three or more goals.
  • Harry Redknapp’s side beat Birmingham 2-1 at White Hart Lane in August.
  • Aaron Lennon and Benoit Assou-Ekotto are still out with groin injuries.
  • Defender Jonathan Woodgate remains sidelined by a long-term groin problem.
  • Goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini is expected to miss the rest of the campaign after a serious motorbike accident.
  • - Striker Jermain Defoe has missed six of his last ten penalties.

Expert Advice

Birmingham were brought crashing back down to earth with a bump at Chelsea on Wednesday but boss Alex McLeish refused to criticise his players afterwards and he will be hoping they repay him with a victory against Tottenham. The Blues success this season has been built on their defence and they will be keen for normal service to resume against the likes of Defoe and Crouch. Tottenham have also been miserly over the last month and their problems, if any, have come at the other end of the pitch with the attack struggling to fire on all cylinders this month. A close match looks on the cards and Betsson’s price of 2.05 for there to be over 2.5 goals appears a value bet.

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