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Birmingham City Preview

Part Three of our look at next season's opponents

30 May 2017

Birmingham City's 2016/17 season

League Position: 19th (2015/16: 10th)

Average league attendance: 18,717 (2015/16: 17,602)

Top league goalscorer: Lukas Jutkiewicz (12)

But for a baffling mid-season managerial change Blues could have been one of the promotion contenders instead they needed a final day win at Bristol City to ensure they didn't suffer one of the most remarkable relegations in Championship history. 

After two tenth placed finishes under Gary Rowett, Blues started the season by losing just one of their first 11 league matches to sit sixth heading into the October international break. Despite an indifferent October and November, a 2-1 win over Ipswich Town on 13 December ensured Blues were just two points outside the top six after 19 games. However, it was then that new majority owners Trillion Trophy Asia sacked Rowett and appointed Gianfranco Zola as the club's new manager. The results were dramatic.

The Italian took just three points from his first eight games in charge, including a 3-1 defeat at home to The Bees, as they went into freefall. Two wins in five, over Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers hinted at better and left them 13 points clear of the drop zone. They proved to be Zola's only wins in charge as four draws and five defeats from nine brought an end to his tenure with just three games to play.

By now Blues were just three points above the drop with experienced manager Harry Redknapp coming in to save them from the drop. Defeat to fierce rivals Aston Villa in Redknapp's first game reduced that gap to two but victories over an under-strength Huddersfield Town and Bristol City in the final two games saw Blues scramble to safety. 

The Ground

St. Andrew's Stadium 
B9 4RL

Click here for directions to St Andrew's

The Manager

After agreeing a one-year deal at St Andrew's Harry Redknapp is gearing up for his 52nd season in professional football. An 18-year playing career took in West Ham United, Bournemouth, one game at Brentford and Seattle Sounders before a return to the South Coast as player then manager in 1982. He led The Cherries to the Division Three title in 1987 before moving on to West Ham in 1994. He spent seven years at Upton Park, winning the Intertoto Cup in 1999. He led Portsmouth into the Premier League in 2003 before a controversial switch to fierce rivals Southampton. After just a year at St Mary's he returned to Pompey where he won the FA Cup in 2008. He then moved on to Spurs and finished fourth in his first full season in charge, earning Champions League Qualification and the Premier League Manager of the Year prize. They reached the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League, being knocked out by Real Madrid, and finished fifth again in 2011. Redknapp left White Hart Lane 12 months later, and led QPR to the top flight before enjoying spells with the Jordan National Team and Central Coast Mariners in Australia before returning to England at Birmingham last month. 

Last Season

Head to Head

Brentford wins: 10 
Draws: 7 
Birmingham wins: 21

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