The dark cloud that hangs over St. Andrews shows no signs of shifting, as Garry Monk was, frankly surprisingly sacked after 15 months in charge after falling out with clubs hierarchy in mid-June. This came after finishing 17th place in last seasons Championship despite a 9 point deduction after breaking the Football League’s profitability and sustainability rules.
Monk’s assistant Pep Clotet has taken a role as caretaker head coach, declaring he will build on the foundations built by Monk. Yet on the pitch the close season has been just as disastrous, losing club captain Michael Morrison, Jota and Che Adams with only a couple of low key signings coming in.
Clotet rolled out a 3-4-2-1 system in pre-season and a counter-attacking style, utilising wing-backs when countering, switching to 5 at the back when not in possession. Only time will tell how effective they will be in a highly competitive league.
Birmingham Fixture Difficulty
The season opens with a tough game away at Brentford before an equally tricky encounter as Bristol City make their way to St. Andrews. A short journey to Nottingham Forest follows before a home game against newly-promoted Barnsely. A trip to South Wales for Swansea takes place before a home game against Stoke which completes the opening six.
Birmingham Penalty Takers
Midfielder Craig Gardner was the main penalty taker with forward Lukas Jutkiewicz next in contention.
Birmingham EFL Fantasy Tips
In truth, Birmingham are something of an unknown entity this season, with a new man in charge with little to base his style on or how it translates in fantasy football terms.
However, despite losing captain Morrison, the Blues still look solid at the back, yet they will be tested even further this season. ‘Keeper Lee Camp will no doubt be a busy keeper, and after a respectable 12 clean sheets last season, he may be a good, cheap pick with consistent returns from saves and bonus points.
Birmingham Predicted Lineup
4-4-2: Camp; Colin, Harding, Roberts, Pedersen; Maghoma, G. Gardner, Davis, Mrabti; Bailey, Vassell