Ahead of Birmingham City’s trip to Bolton on the final day of the season, football statistics website WhoScored.com
have previewed the meeting at the Reebok Stadium.
When the two sides met earlier in the season at St. Andrew's, Bolton ran out 2-1 winners thanks to goals from Jermaine Beckford and Neil Danns. Birmingham’s consolation coming from Lee Novak.
Birmingham head into the encounter knowing they must get a result if they are to have any chance of securing their Championship safety. They come up against a Bolton side that has won just six of their 22 league games at the Reebok this season, giving the Blues hope that they will still be plying their trade in England’s second tier next term. Lee Clark's men have picked up 29 of their 43 points on the road this season, and only Leicester (14), Burnley, Derby and Reading (all 11) have won more away games than Birmingham (9). Their away form will spur them on this weekend as they aim to inflict Bolton’s seventh home defeat of the campaign.
Now is the time to stand up and be counted for Birmingham, and who better to gee up the players than captain Paul Robinson. The experienced defender has started 39 of the Blues’ 45 league games this season, with Clark’s side failing to win any of the six Championship matches he has not started.
Furthermore, Birmingham have conceded considerably more goals per game without Robinson (2.67) than with him (1.44), highlighting how important he is to the team. The calmness he brings to the defence will see the Blues profit as a whole and his composure will provide a confidence boost to the backline.
Boasting a WhoScored.com
strength of ‘passing’ and styles of play of ‘likes to play long balls’ and ‘plays the ball off the ground often’ should benefit the more attack-minded Birmingham players. With a statistically calculated weakness of Bolton’s coming when ‘defending against attacks down the wings’, Robinson can pick out offensive Blues stars on either flank, which in turn will trouble the Trotters’ defence.
Either way, Robinson is the player his teammates are expected to look towards to help stave off relegation. He has proven his worth countless times as the season has progressed and one final push from the defender and the rest of the Blues squad is expected in order to guarantee their Championship safety this term.
*This article is not the view of Birmingham City Football Club, but WhoScored.com which is a unique website and one of the fastest growing in the sports industry, specialising in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data. Provided with unique stats, they compile and create comprehensive analysis on the major European divisions, including live match stats and player ratings. Follow @WhoScored and their editorial assistant @BenMcAleer1 on Twitter.