You'll have to pardon me, dear readers. Not only for my two week absence (provided you noticed), but because as I write this post, I am still basking in what the great Brian Phillips called "the apotheosis of this Barcelona era," that marvelous match at the Camp Nou on Monday night. The warm glow within me has erased nearly all memory of that depressing loss to Arsenal at the weekend, but it's left me to ponder a thing or two about Villa and our upcoming fixture in the Carling Cup. You know the one. Against that club. But more on that later.
Here's the other reason I think we beat Birmingham City: it's a cup match. The knock-out nature of cup matches dictates that teams have to play to win, because a draw will do you no good. And if Birmingham City is good at anything (and they aren't), it's that they are really good at not losing games. Alex McLeish has imbued Birmingham City with a sternly Scottish approach to defending, and Ben Foster has proved himself to be a decent keeper. But their offense is relatively pathetic, and I say that as a supporter of a team that recently escaped an agonizing scoring drought. Cameron Jerome is a striker of some repute, but after that, there's not a lot going on. They have Villa reject Craig Gardner in midfield, and summer signing Nikola Zigic has been a disappointment. After that, all they can hope for is a header from a corner or some grevious defensive error (which, to be fair, we have a seemingly endless supply of.) But I have enough faith in our attackers that I think we'll be able to put a lot of goals past Birmingham. Looking at their record, three goals seems to be enough to beat Birmingham, so I'll go with a 3-1 scoreline to Villa, after which we'll likely get drawn against Arsenal or something and be absolutely screwed.