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Boro v Birmingham (A) 1-2 (Wing, Assombalonga)

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BeardySmog Matchday Solutions



Birmingham v Middlesbrough

Kick Off - 3pm

St Andrews

12th January 2019



Well well well, now we have seen what happens when the shackles are removed will we be treated to this free flowing attacking football again this weekend? Probably not. Birmingham seem to be flourishing under the tutelage of Garry Monk, reckon he could do a job here?


Last Game

BORO 5-0 Peterborough.

We won the battle of the Boro pretty convincingly in the end after a bit of an auspicious start. 5 second half goals and some positive performances from some of our attacking players will hopefully give us a bit of confidence going into this weekend.


West Ham 2-0 Birmingham

Also in Cup action Brum fielded a pretty strong team for their trip to the London Stadium. They came up short against the Premier league outfit, even conceding a goal to that big lugger Andy Carrol. I'm expecting Pulis to have watched this so week be starting Gestede on his own up front.


Oh.. He used to play for us...

Aside from the man in the dugout and the majority of the coaching staff, the standout ex-Boro player had to be Lukas Jutkiewicz. Regularly topping the divisions power rankings, Lukeyjuke has been the catalyst of Brum's good performances this season. Thoroughly likeable chap, shame he didn't do his blossoming on Teesside.


Beard Watch

Lukeyjuke gets an honourable mention here too, but Brum's best beard can be found on former Boro target Jacques Maghoma. Strong effort from the former Sheffield Wednesday winger, not sure about the hair though.


The tip of the Beard


Birmingham 13/8

Draw 21/10

Middlesbrough 9/5


Skybet have this down as being a pretty close fought match and I agree, it will be a game of fine margins. My BeardyBet this week is a Boro win with both teams to score which has been boosted from 11/2 to 13/2.


View from the other side..




Not a match thread as such but their views on the game. They are not expecting an exciting match, welcome to out whole season boys and girls.


Pre Match Questions

Starting XI?

Has Wing done enough to start?

Van la Parra to feature?

Score prediction and scorers?

Would you get rid of Pulis if the only replacement could be Monk?



This will be a close one and not for footballing purists. Reckon we will sneak a 2-1 win after going behind with goals from Britt and Saville.



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Hope Tony will take some inspiration from the Peteborough game go for something like:







But being away from home I can't see him starting with so many attacking players and two up top. Wing has got to start in some capacity for his delivery and his ability to create chances. Not sure if Van La Parra features from the off but he will definitely be on the pitch at some point.


0-1 Ayala to score. Wouldn't get rid of Pulis before the end of the season unless we fall way out of the play off positions, he wont be here next season if we're still in the Championship.

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Just ordered my tickets for the game as it is one of my more localish get to games.


Think it will be a decent game and if there is any forum member going to this match then let e know as a quick drink is very possible before the game.


Nice op BS

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Hope we start with a bit of pace and enthusiasm. But I think it'll be less adventurous than I'm hoping to see. I'd like:






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I would like to see:



Mc'Nair (good delivery from RB) Ayala, Fry, Friend

Howson, Clayton, Wing

Fletcher, Hugill, Tav


But our Tony will probably play:



Downing, Downing, Downing

Downing, Downing, Downing, Downing, Downing,

Downing, Downing

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Well I won't be fooled by the last result 5 nil against a Posh team that have only won 1 in the last 5 in League One.


I reckon Pulis is going there for a point and we will struggle to even score one goal against a solid Brum side that have strikers that know where the back of the net is.

So our defence is going to be working over time and that will include our defensive midfielders, (no change there then).


Leaving which ever poor sod gets the job up front alone and cut off.

Perhaps if he takes a good book on the pitch with him it will give him something to occupy his mind because I reckon he will not be getting many chances to get the ball.


Has usual if it is 0-0 around 80 minutes we may see a couple of our attacking youngsters appear off the bench,but some how I doubt it,  Pulis will be more than happy with a point.

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believe it will be the same team as Derby depending on injuries.


would like to see him replace Saville for Tav on the wing, but can't see it. VLP is likely to come on as a sub in second half.


Li'll go for a 1-1 draw

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Think he'll play one of wing or Tav, but not both. Downing and hugill will play. VLP on the bench and will replace whichever of the two attack minded players play. That player will later be mentioned in the post match and not see another start for the remainder of January.


Not expecting an exciting game with 0-0 the likely outcome unless they score early or we can fluke one.


Stating the obvious but I'd take anyone over pulis, monk included

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This is actually a must not lose game. Birmingham is in the pack chasing the top six spots, only 4 points behind.


Derby face Leeds, WBA face Norwich and QPR who is also only 4 points short of top six will face Sheffield U.


A win would be VERY welcome, but a draw wouldn't hurt us.

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4 teams around meet each other and as SmogDane says Sheffield have a tough game against resurgent QPR. At least two direct rivals will lose points. This is simply an opportunity we have to take to gain some points on the teams in front of us or put some more distance between those just behind. If we win there is a very good chance that we will only be 4 points behind 2nd place, as I don't think Norwich will beat WBA. Potentially only 3 if Norwich lose and Sheffield United don't win. Big chance this weekend to take som serious advantage.

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Might not mean anything, but the Boro Twitter put on a picture today of the first team squad, and Shotton isn't with them. I wonder if it means he's training on his own - ie; out long term.

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