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Birmingham City Prematch

23 July 2012

The prematch look ahead of Tuesday night's game with Birmingham City

Listen to full match commentary of the match on ShrewsPlayer

Marcus Braddock previews the game


After a nice run out at Evesham, the Town take on Championship Birmingham City in the second game of their pre-season programme....


Birmingham City came pretty close to a return to the Championship last season and will no doubt be one of the contenders for the coming season. The Blues are managed by Lee Clarke after Chris Hughton left for Norwich this summer and Clarke has already got some new faces in at St Andrews. Peter Lovenkrands, David Lucas and Hayden Mullins have arrived on free transfers from Newcastle, Rochdale and Portsmouth respectively. Darren Ambrose has also signed from Crystal Palace, commanding a fee of £250,000 and Goalkeeper Ben Foster has moved to West Brom for £4 million. 


Performer

Born in Glasgow, midfielder Chris Burke is a product of Rangers' youth system He first broke into the Rangers first team in the 2001/02 season and made 96 appearances, scoring 11 times in a Ger's that lasted until 2009. After limited appearances for the Glasgow club, Burke took a free transfer to Cardiff City which suited him quite well as he scored 15 times in 102 games as Cardiff unsuccessfully chased promotion. At the start of last season Burke failed to agree a contract with the Bluebirds and signed a contract with fellow promotion rivals Birmingham City. The move meant he had played in England, Scotland and Wales and his form improved in the second city with Burke more than doubled his strike rate in his first season with 13 in 46. Burke is a very decent goalscoring midfielder with the ability to take goals from many positions and will be one to watch.


Ref: Robert Madley 

Robert Madley is one of my favourite referees at the moment because he officiated in 2 games involving us last season and we won both and scored 5. He was also in charge against Gillingham the season before last and we lost 2-0 but he's made up for that.


Games last season: 35 Yellow cards: 71 Red cards 4.


Prediction

Always difficult with a friendly because different formations and player combinations are used by both sides and the result is not all that important. It's always encouraging to see a good performance but not a big deal either so I'm just hoping for an interesting time seeing how some of the new players are settling in. It's also interesting to see how players work together in pre season because you can sometimes see new “on the field” relationships developing. With Graham Turner only intending to give Chris Weale the full 90 minutes, there should be plenty of new faces to see and some familiar ones too. I imagine that Birmingham will do similar thing and make good use of substitutions so a very interesting game to come. If you're bored of all this international rubbish and want to whet your appetite for the coming season on a balmy summer's evening, it's only a fiver or a tenner! My prediction is for a 1-1 draw!


Can’t make it but can get to a computer? Join us here on ShrewsWeb for live commentary, match stats and live chat with CoverItLive!


ShrewsWeb spoke to Graham Turner to get his thought's ahead of the game 


Evesham...

They were organised, fit, had one or two decent players so they gave us a good work-out. The fact that we didn't score was disappointing, we had a number of good opportunities but generally for our first game, it was hard work, we had to compete. We've picked up one or two niggles from there, minor knocks that might keep people out of contention for the Birmingham game but for the majority of the occasion, going to Evesham was well worthwhile.

There were one or two, I thought, quite impressive performances from the new lads, some of them only lasted 45 minutes and that was the plan for many of them but I thought the passing was OK, the range of passing. Particularly the midfield players, Asa Hall and Luke Summerfield in the first half I thought were good.


Birmingham...

It'll be a fair test for us wont it, good preparation for Leeds united and Sheffield United and Preston.  The 3 pre-season games that we've got coming up will be a stern test of our organisation as well as our ability. I'm sure that with the new managers they've got into two of the three clubs the players will want to impress them; they'll be putting out their strongest sides. So it's a good opportunity for us to assess our players. I think when you look at it one or two of the younger players in particular might come in and be a little bit anxious, want to please, want to impress people. I think it's just a matter of getting them to relax and play in the manner in which we know they are capable of. During the course of these pre-season matches we want to get that understanding amongst individual players in different departments.


Watch Graham Turner's prematch thoughts on ShrewsPlayer


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