And it is of course, the Blue’s fA cup final once again.
Only this time I feel it’s more interesting than usual.
Blues have a really poor record against us over the last 15 games or so, but while they’re usually fairly tight games, I feel this game will probably be closer than ever.
Blues have a very decent attacking threat, with Che Adams firing on all cylinders.
But then, we have Tammy Abraham, who can also bang them away.
I can’t say I know anything about Blue’s defence, but we do know we have a shortage at the back.
I’ve seen talk about Jedinak coming in at centre back to replace Elphick, but I don’t think that will happen for one minute. He’s too immobile and I’m sure Smith sees it.
So Hause, who’s actually looked pretty decent at left back recently, will surely take the left CB position, alongside Mings.
Which leaves us wondering who will play at left back.
Taylor is the natural choice, but I don’t believe Dean Smith has much faith in him.
Then I’ve read that John McGinn might play left back, as that’s the position he actually started his playing career at.
This actually makes some sense, as his engine would be useful for getting up and down the wing, hopefully nullifying the pressure that Taylor would face if he were to be targeted. McGinn could also cut inside and assist the mids, if needed.
But I think Smith much prefers to play round pegs in round holes.
Hence Taylor will probably get to start, if I had to guess.
Which, given that I think this game revolves around the midfield, makes things interesting. Where does McGinn fit in?
Whelan and Hourihane did quite well last week and it would be harsh if we were to drop either of them.
Hourihane, while I think he’s lightweight as a defensive mid, so he offers options if we’re attacking.
Whereas Whelan has controlled games lately. He’s also more of a battler, which should prove invaluable tomorrow.
We know Grealish will definitely start and that leaves Smith with a big, but very pleasant problem.
I think the best solution is that McGinn will start on the bench and come on to replace any weak link in the middle.
My opinion says that if players are showing decent form, they shouldn’t be displaced unless there’s a reason.
That’s harsh on McGinn too, but I feel if he were to come on with say, half an hour to go, his undoubted energy could add a lot to our game and give us an edge.
I know little about Blue’s midfield, except that it was struggling earlier in the season. Gardner’s apparently been playing well for them and hopefully it’s a positive that he’s not eligible for this game, as much as Blues asked if we’d let him play, the cheeky scrotes.
So there we are.
I’m sure I don’t need to go through our squad status and I couldn’t care less about theirs.
The truth is, I don’t know what to think about this game.
As much as I think we were good against Derby, so I thought they were incredibly poor and it made us look better than we were.
And I look back at previous games where I didn’t think we were too clever either.
But the big difference now is that we have Jack back and it seems he has the ability to transform us.
I think if we play to our best, we’ll have too much for Birmingham.
But if we resort to the previous form before Derby, we might struggle.
I think I have to go for the draw.
1-1 it is.