This is a huge game in the Midlands but it will no doubt be ignored by the mainstream media whose love affair with London, Manchester and Liverpool will see the major headlines saved for the Manchester United and Liverpool game on Sunday.
Make no mistake though this game is massive and it could be the team that comes out of the Midlands mini league with the most points that eventually finishes highest in the league table.
The Baggies will be seeking to improve upon their draw against Spurs last week, a game they should have won and Blues will be looking to do the same following on from their impressive performance against Liverpool.
This game may not match up to the West Brom versus Villa derby but it is still huge in the Midlands and let’s hope that it is played in the right spirit and the fans all get along.
Roberto Di Matteo’s thoughts
“I think derbies add spice to the season. Derbies have no rules. There are no favourites as far as my experience goes,” “If one team is second and you`re bottom then it means nothing but when you`re involved in it you hear supporters make comments, the papers focus on it, there`s history. It`s different to normal games.”
West Brom Team News:
James Morrison will be missing again following his red card against Liverpool. Ishmael Miller, Joe Mattock, and Marek Cech are still ruled out through injury. However, there is some good news as Graham Dorrans returns to the squad following a family bereavement that saw him miss out last week.
Player to watch: Peter Odemwingie
Nigerian international Odemwingie was unlucky not to score the winner against Spurs last week and he will be looking to add to his debut goal against Sunderland.
Birmingham City Team News:
Hleb and Beausejour could make their debuts for Blues but one man to miss out is Baggies old boy Kevin Phillips. The game comes a week to early for him. James McFadden is also likely to miss the game.
Player to watch: Alexsandr Hleb
Hleb is Blues star summer signing but it remains to be seen whether he will return to the form that saw him earn a move from Arsenal to Barcelona
Match Facts & Stats
West Brom have not beaten Blues in their last four meetings (L2, D2) a statistic that they will surely wish to try to rebalance this season.
Chris Foy is the referee for the game and the Baggies will hope he has a better game than the last time he was referee for an Albion game. In February, Foy sent off Mulumbu in the 2-2 draw with Reading that also saw Gonzalo Jara’s foot broken in a rash Reading challenge that went unpunished.
2-1 to the Baggies
League cup, 22 September at 8.00pm against big spending Manchester City.