B Team Preview: Birmingham vs Saints

By SFC Media time Thu 15 Dec Birmingham City vs Saints
Photo by Isabelle Field | Luke Pearce

Southampton’s B team travel to the Midlands as they face Birmingham City in their penultimate Premier League Cup group game on Friday.

THE MATCH
Birmingham City vs Saints
Premier League Cup
Liberty Way Stadium
Friday 16th December, midday

Saints face Birmingham City for their second meeting in the group stage, following on from a dominant 4-0 victory at Staplewood in November.

Dave Horseman's side come into having already qualified as Group F winners, thanks to results elsewhere that followed their remarkable 7-1 victory over Colchester United at the start of the month.

With a rotated side at St Mary's Stadium, the young Saints came back from conceding first thanks to a Sam Bellis hat-trick, a Will Merry brace, and goals from Luke Pearce and 15-year-old Jay Robinson.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Sam Bellis of Southampton during Premier League Cup match between Southampton B Team and Colchester United at St. Mary's Stadium on December 02, 2022 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC)
Sam Bellis claimed the match ball against Colchester United

Birmingham are a mid-table side in the Premier League Professional Development League after 13 league games.

In the Premier League Cup, they have enjoyed two matches without defeat since they travelled to Staplewood for their last meeting with Saints.

The Blues faced Everton in two successive games, first coming away from Haig Avenue, Southport, with a 1-1 draw thanks to a 79th minute equaliser from Pharell Williams.

Then, in the reverse fixture, a stoppage-time winner from Trevan Sanusi gave them an important 1-0 win to move off the foot of the group table.

THE GROUP

Saints are runaway Group F winners after their last outing, with a perfect 12 points from four games.

Everton currently occupy the second qualifying place with four points but Birmingham, thanks to their two results against the Toffees, are level on points with an inferior goal difference.

Colchester United prop up the group with three points, meaning that all three sides can still qualify from Group F in second place.

LAST MEETING

Jimmy-Jay Morgan stole the show with a hat-trick in the last game against Birmingham in November, as Kamari Doyle struck a free-kick to complete the 4-0 win.

MANAGER'S NOTES

"Despite the results we've had we are in a really tough group, and Birmingham are a talented team as well." said Horseman ahead of the penultimate group game.

"It just goes to show how well our lads have done to be in the position we are with games to spare. However, we still want to win the next two [group games], but more importantly we want to keep playing well.

"We don't go away from the fact that it's all about development as we want players to be knocking on the door [of the first team] with good value, which is our main priority."

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