So this has been an interesting start to the season, eh? A terrible 3-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers led to panic in Yorkshire, and 80+ minutes in Fleetwood was just as bad, but a come-from-behind roller coaster win in the EFL Cup puts things in a different perspective coming in to the home opener at Elland Road on Saturday.
Birmingham City has had an equally shaky start to their season, if not worse. After a scoreless draw at home to Cardiff City last Saturday, the Blues lost to a Kemar Roofeless Oxford United 1-0 in extra time of their EFL Cup opener. Not great, Bob.
So we both come into Saturday needing a win to avoid an even rougher start to the 2016/17 campaign. To start our previews, we have another Leeds Against The World for you, with Daniel Ivery of Often Partisan joining us again this season to give us a little insight into Birmingham fandom. He was one of the first to help us with LATW last year, so we’re happy to have him back.
So as we did last week, we hope you find it a worthwhile exercise to see things from the other side before a match. Meet Birmingham through the eyes of Daniel and get ready for Saturday’s match with us.
Leeds Against The World: Birmingham City
Hey Daniel. Welcome back. You had a better opener than we did, with a scoreless draw against Cardiff to our 3-0 defeat at QPR. What’s different with Birmingham City in 2016/17?
You must have been bad cos our opener was absolutely turgid. To be fair, not much has changed this season from last - we're difficult to beat at the back but we really struggle to create chances. Hopefully, the signing of Che Adams will change that but it's a lot on the young kid's shoulders.
Birmingham finished four points ahead of Leeds last season, cracking the top ten. Have the changes been enough to move you up the table? Where do you think you’ll finish the season?
I don't think so. As it stands I don't think we'll finish top half; we can't compete with other teams financially and too many seem to have worked out the easiest way to beat us is to give us the ball and wait for us to lose it. 15th maybe as it stands?
What’s the best part about being a Birmingham City fan in 2016?
Ummm... can I come back to you on that? I'm struggling right now, I think this season will be a slog and as I said in my match report from our cup defeat, it's becoming a chore to go. Hopefully that will change.
Who is Birmingham’s most hated rival?
The mob across the expressway... those whose name I will not speak. They lost to Luton in the cup and their owner is fun on Twitter. Could be interesting for them this season... we've done the mental Chinese owner who landed up in jail, wonder if it's their turn? (Not that I'm saying Dr. Tony Xia has done anything wrong at all.)
What’s one matchup we should watch for on Saturday?
Clayton Donaldson v. Kyle Bartley. Both big buggers, both the kind of players who like a bit of a wrestle, could be interesting. I liked Bartley when he was on loan with us - think you've made a good signing there.
Give us a reason you’ll win:
To spite me cos I've been mean about them all week.
Give us a reason you’ll lose:
Cos the team currently couldn't score in a brothel with a couple of fifty pound notes strategically placed around it's collective members... and we don't have Nikola Zigic any more.
What’s your predicted result?
2-0 to you lot, sadly.
Well that makes me feel a lot better. Sorry Daniel, sounds rough over there, but thanks for helping us with the second Leeds Against The World Q&A of the 2016/17 season. You can read more about Birmingham City on Daniel’s website, Often Partisan.
We'll have a full preview of the Birmingham match coming later today from our own Jack Dudley. What do you think happens tomorrow, Leeds fans? Think Birmingham gives us our first win? Think we build off the EFL Cup shootout win? Think we’re worse than Daniel gives us credit for? Thanks for reading, we’ll be back with our third LATW of the season before Fulham on Tuesday. #MOT.