From the Press box

Nicole Carroll: A one woman mission to make a name in football

D-Day: 2 days to go – Forward Battle

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With this fixture ending in a 5-1 drubbing just two seasons ago, both sides will be looking towards the forwards for a goal fest on Sunday. Here are the stats:

Cameron Jerome

Six of the nine goals for Birmingham since the start of March have involved Cameron Jerome – pitching in with five goals and one assist

Jerome has 10 goals this season, his highest in the Premier League thus far, which sits him 14th in the top scorer charts: the only inclusion for Birmingham City.

Jerome has been involved in derby matches against the Villa, but has yet to score.

Christian “Chucho” Benitez

Christian Benitez has faced the Villa once this season, in the 1-0 loss at home back in September.

Despite showing masses of promise, Benitez has struggled on the goal front this season scoring only one in his Premier League inaugural season, a header against Liverpool in the 2-2 draw.

Chucho is unlikely to start, with the favoured front pairing for the past few games coming in the shape of McFadden and Jerome. Could potentially be used in a “super sub” role for the Blues.

James McFadden

McFadden has featured 29 times for the Blues this season, scoring four times. McLeish has used McFadden in a wide left position for the best part of the season, rather than playing him in a standard strikers position.

McFadden is yet to score against the Villa in a derby.

Kevin Phillips

Kevin Phillips has played for both sides, and scored for Villa in the 1-0 win over Birmingham in 2005.

Phillips has featured for Birmingham mainly from the bench this season, and has scored vital goals, including the equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Arsenal.

Gabriel Agbonlahor

Agbonlahor has 13 goals for this campaign, four more than strike partner John Carew, and his goal tally statistically makes him 5th best English striker if you look at goal rate alone.

Agbonlahor has scored in each of his three starts against the Blues, most recently in the 1-0 away win at St. Andrews back in September.

John Carew

The Telegraph expects Carew and Agbonlahor to start the match.

Carew has featured for the Villa 30 times this season, scoring 9 times.

Carew was a big part of the 5-1 win against the Blues, with his name appearing twice on the scoresheet.

Emile Heskey

Heskey has played 27 times for the Villa this season, bagging 3 goals in the process.

Heskey scored against the club that now owns him in the 2-0 win by Birmingham, in which Heskey and Julian Gray scored.

William Hill are currently offering the following odds on these strikers scoring first, and anytime goal scorer odds:

Jerome: First 15/2, Anytime 9/4

Benitez: First 9/1, Anytime 10/3

McFadden: First 8/1, Anytime 11/4

Agbonlahor: First 9/2, Anytime 6/5

Carew: First 4/1, Anytime Evens

Heskey: First: 6/1, Anytime 7/4





Written by Nicole Carroll

April 23, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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