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Brummy Preview

So, Birmingham tomorrow and Steve Bruce has cleverly identified Jermaine Pennant as the danger-man his side needs to keep quiet. Talk about a Kop-out. If I was a highly paid manager, what if I picked the one player I knew the most about, regardless of the talent of his team-mates, and focus on him?

Why not just say "I watched the highlights on Sky but I’m too lazy to watch the full tapes of the Liverpool games to come up with a proper way to beat them so I’ll cheat and pick on the guy who was far and away our best player when I got the club relegated."

A few matches aside *ahem Porto ahem*, Pennant has been on fire pretty much all of 2007 but is he our main threat? No.

To focus on Pennant means Babel has more space to work his magic on the left or, as we saw against Derby, on the right.

To focus on Pennant gives Gerrard more freedom, more room to roam, for those devastating forward surges and lethal shots on goal.

Focusing on Pennant also gives the strikers more time – the last thing you want to give someone as brutally quick as Torres is time.

Focusing on Pennant will give your midfield a lop-sided nature meaning when you’re in possession, the odds of Mascherano breaking up your disjointed venture forward will sky rocket.

No, focusing on Pennant is not the answer. If I were Bruce, I’d hope that my side could repeat its performance against a lack-lustre Chelsea side and scrape a draw but with Torres finding his scoring boots and if our midfield clicks like it had before the international break, I wouldn’t put any money on it.

Just checked a forum I read regularly and a lot of "pundits" are backing Benayoun to start on the right and for Torres to be rested. What do you guys think?

BBC Preview with all the stats etc.

View from the Birmingham fans

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