Birmingham to put the Irons in the fire
It is only a matter of time before West Ham will be playing Championship football in the Olympic Stadium. The way they conduct their business, it is nothing more than what they deserve!
They may be flying this year in the cup competitions but they are 'has-beens' in the Premier League. They have a below average squad and a loud boardroom. Karen Brady is back in the newspaper today and also heading back to St Andrews with the so-called die hard West Ham fans and former Birmingham directors Gold and Sullivan.
If West Ham were as good at playing football as their directors are noisy, they would be bigger than Real Madrid. The harsh reality is that they are about to be dumped out the cup and you can get 11/10 for Birmingham to win in ninety minutes.
There is little harmony at West Ham, the manager Avram Grant has been a dead man walking with a poor squad to utilise.
The West Ham manager's job is a poisoned chalice. There are few qualified enough or with an excellent CV that would want the job. They do not want to work with an unrealistic board. O'Neill did not take the job because he is too dignified to talk about the job behind Grant's back and he does not want to blot his CV with relegation.
The players are fully behind Grant but are disgruntled by the board's murmurs and it is noticeable in their play. West Ham seem more interested in slating Tottenham over the Olympic Stadium move. The Hammers hold a slender 2-1 lead from the Upton Park opener and Birmingham may have been crushed 5-0 by Man United at the weekend, but United will champions in a small matter of time.
Birmingham will be without the cup-tied David Bentley but they should have a strong enough squad to dispose of West Ham. The Hammers have only won one game away in the league this season and they are 12/5 to win, the draw is 12/5.
West Ham are 4/6 to qualify and it is worth remembering that Grant did lead a relegated Portsmouth to the FA Cup final last season. They will be without the suspended Obinna and Grant has a small first team squad.
Without Obinna's goal scoring prowess and Birmingham's inability to score goals, you can get 8/11 for under 2.5 goals. It will be a cagey affair with both teams low on confidence but Birmingham should be buoyed by their strong home support. However, it is worth noting that Birmingham know that they need to score more than once.
Both teams can be grateful that they have fantastic goalkeepers and they may have a busy evening.
They can grab a 2-0 win at 10/1 and I fancy Birmingham to win to nil at 11/5. With both teams desperate to impose a mark, the 9/2 available for the first card given between the first to fifteenth minute is tempting. There are also plenty of aggressive player's on-show and Bowyer or Parker could easily find himself in the book.
West Ham may qualify but Birmingham have a stronger squad and Mcleish has quietly gone about his business this season. It would not be a surprise to see the likes of Bowyer and Ferguson lifting the trophy aloft at Wembley very soon.