Aston Villa vs Birmingham City: a lookahead and thoughts from Martin Grainger

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February 10, 2018 by Kane Styles.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, there seems no love lost between the two second city rivals.

Villa are in red hot form going into the derby, and Blues themselves are enjoying their best period of the season having picked up 13 points from six games.

With Villa packing out their stadium for the first time this season, a white hot atmosphere is guaranteed. Blues haven’t left B6 victorious since December 2004, where Blues triumphed 2-1.

Blues legend Martin Grainger gave his thoughts on the fixture that means so much in this city.

To be honest, it’s the one game you just think of your own supporters. You don’t want to let them down.”

When asked about both Villa and Blues’ respective seasons, Martin had this to say: “Although Blues have picked points up recently, the vile have been more consistent over longer periods.”

Renowned for his level of passion, Grainger believes that Blues’ players must not get caught up in the occasion: “It’s a big game but I treated it like every other – otherwise your emotions could get the better of you. Saying that, the first tackle I would put in would be a big one.”

Grainger’s message to the 2000 bluenoses was simply: “Believe and Keep Right On.”

The team:

After being stretchered off during the 3-1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday, Jonathan Grounds is likely to miss the rest of the campaign due to suspected knee ligament damage.

This leaves boss Steve Cotterill with a dilemma; does he throw youngster Cohen Bramall into the fray? Or does he convert Maxime Colin to a left sided defender and place Carl Jenkinson in at right back?

In a game of this magnitude, experience can prove to be a key factor. Starting Bramall is a risk not worth taking at this stage in his career.

Jacques Maghoma, who is enjoying a purple patch, will face a late fitness test in a bid to prove his fitness. If the winger is ruled out, Che Adams or Jota could start in his absence. With John Terry and James Chester both expected to start for Villa, Adams’ pace could be a huge asset to Blues on the day.

As usual, sing your hearts out and roar the name bearers of the city to victory. Keep Right On.

@kanegstyles

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