Birmingham City (A) | Match Preview
Birmingham City v Argyle. St Andrew's. Saturday, 26 August. 3pm. Sky Bet Championship.
Birmingham City have had a strong start to the 2023/24 season. They began with a 1-1 draw at Swansea City on the opening day of the season, with a goal from debutant Siriki Dembele, and followed that with a win at Cheltenham Town in the Carabao Cup.
Former Argyle loanee and Birmingham club captain Lukas Jutkiewicz scored a late penalty (pictured below) to give Blues a win in their only home fixture so far, as they beat Leeds United 1-0. Last Saturday, Birmingham won 2-0 at Bristol City, with Jutkiewicz again on the scoresheet, doubling Blues' lead after Koji Miyoshi had put them in front.
John Eustace took the Birmingham City manager's job in the summer of 2022, and in his first season at the helm, guided Blues to 17th position. Solihull-born Eustace had a playing career that took in stints at clubs such as Coventry City, Stoke City, Watford and Derby County, the vast majority of his career was played at the second-tier level.
His first managerial job was with Kidderminster, in the Vanarama National League, whom he led to two consecutive play-off appearances. He moved on to be assistant manager at Queens Park Rangers from 2018 to 2022, and later doubled up with being the assistant manager of the Ireland national team.
The aforementioned Jutkiewicz is the leading goalscorer for Birmingham this season, although he has not started any of the league games, instead coming on each time as a second-half substitute. Miyoshi, whose goal was also as a substitute, joined in the summer from Royal Antwerp, and Dembele made the switch from Bournemouth, having been on loan at Auxerre.
Other summer arrivals include Tyler Roberts (Leeds United), Ethan Laird (Manchester United) and Lee Buchanan (Werder Bremen). Dion Sanderson and Krystian Bielik (below), who spent last season on loan at St Andrew's from Wolverhampton Wanderers and Derby County respective, have returned on permanent bases.
On Thursday, Birmingham added forward Jay Stansfield to the squad, on loan from Fulham. Stansfield spent last season on loan with his first club, Exeter City.
Fancy a Stat?
The last time Argyle won a league match against Birmingham City, none of the current Pilgrims squad were born.
As mentioned above, Argyle do not have a great record in recent times against Birmingham. The aforementioned last league victory came in 1988, but although that was 35 years ago, the sides have only met in eight league games since.
Argyle have fared better in cup fixtures against Birmingham, including the last time the sides met, which was in the Emirates FA Cup third round in 2021. A Ryan Law goal in extra time gave the Pilgrims a 1-0 win, which led to a game at Chelsea in the next round.
A Strip for the Trip
Argyle will wear their white away kit for this match.
Argyle have sold out the away end at St Andrew's. For an update on collecting tickets or ordering duplicates, read this.
Argyle TV’s pre-match show, hosted by Charlie Price and Marc Edworthy, will begin at 2pm, and is available to watch for free on YouTube.
Domestic supporters can listen to audio commentary on Argyle TV, while international supporters can buy a match pass to watch the game, here. Commentary, live from St Andrew's, will be provided by Rob McNichol and Hasney Aljofree.