Chelsea v Birmingham – Injuries Could Make the Difference
Roman Abramovich’s side has always been a force to reckon with. Chelsea has rarely disappointed its fan base that spans every corner of the world. The ‘glamour boys’, Chelsea, have always been associated with style on the field. However, the quality of football they play has never been questioned. They play to win and this is one of the primary reasons why the side is one of the best. With a runners-up finish in the last Premier League Championship, Chelsea would look to improve its game and move one level up to win the championship. This would never be easy with last season’s winners Manchester United still looking formidable.
Chelsea combines skill with style to offer their Stamford Bridge fans something to cheer about almost all the time. However, this season’s opener could be a little different as they are without their captain John Perry in their clash against Birmingham city. He joins an injury list that includes Michael Ballack and Wayne Bridge. The side would definitely miss the services of these talented players. That is not all. Rumors suggest that Didier Drogba, one of the stars of last season, might not be fully fit to join the side. He had missed the Community Shield that took place last weekend. Manager Jose Mourinho, though, believes Drogba will be back, for the crucial matches at least.
In the FA Premier League, Chelsea has been a giant since the start of the competition in 1992. Over the years, former chairman Ken Bates has seen to it that the side evolves into a competitive outfit. They had faced a few problems in between, but later picked themselves up with the appointment of Ruud Gullit in 1996. He was the person responsible for numerous signings as heroes emerged in the form of Roberto Di Matteo and Gianfranco Zola. Their climb up to the top in the League started in 1997, as they finished sixth. Around the same period, they clinched the FA Cup. With new additions, Chelsea would most certainly finish in the top 4. The team is banking on the likes of Lampard and the dangerous Andriy Shevchenko to help them achieve this.
Birmingham City has its own share of injury woes. Like Chelsea, the captain of this side Damien Johnson would miss the season opener against the Blues. Skipper Johnson had suffered an injury at a friendly game in Walsall. Birmingham has looked to bolster its side by signing-up Rafael Schmitz, who has switched to this side on a season-long loan from Lille. Additionally, they have added defender Mat Sadler in the side. The only predicament that Steve Bruce has right now is their heel injuries. They are not likely to make any contribution this season, unfortunately. However, Bruce believes his other new signings Liam Ridgewell, Stuart Parnaby, Franck Queudrue, Garry O'Connor, Daniel De Ridder and Olivier Kapo will boost the chances of his side. The side has a little sunshine with Mikael Forssell back in the team to lead the attack. He has come back after a long 3 year injury hiatus. Mikael Forssell will lead the side in the absence of Johnson in the opener.
In the Premier League, Steve Bruce’s side has been quite impressive. The St Andrew's club looks like an energetic side looking to re-establish itself as one of the top teams in the league. Bruce is bringing a brand new side to the Championship, with another notable addition being Johan Djourou.
With the differences between Mourinho and Abramovich settled, Chelsea is back at its best. On the other hand, Birmingham is determined to give its best. The side that is better on the field that day would be the winner ultimately.