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Birmingham City: English Premier League Season Preview

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IAugust 12, 2010

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29:  Lee Bowyer (R) of Birmingham celebrates with team mates after scoring his team's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City at Molineaux on November 29, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England.  (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)
Hamish Blair/Getty Images

 With the Premier League season now rapidly approaching, I have decided to take a look at each of the 20 sides which will be playing at the top level of English football during this upcoming season.

I have decided to actually go in reverse order, with Wolverhampton starting the list off, and Arsenal concluding it, right before the start of the Premier League season.

In the 18th installment of this series, I will look at Birmingham City, who finished ninth in the Premier League last season in their first year after spending a season down in the Championship.

Review of Last Season

After getting an automatic promotion into the Premier League, Birmingham City were able to have a great season by getting points against the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, and Liverpool.

But, the Blues were able to have this great season thanks to the efforts of on-loan goalkeeper Joe Hart from Manchester City, who was nothing short of spectacular last season.

Transfers

Incoming Players

Ben Foster (Manchester United), Nikola Zigic (Valencia), and Enric Vallès (NAC Breda).

Departing Players

Artur Krysiak (Exeter City), Gary McSheffrey (Coventry City), Jake Jervis (Notts County), Robin Shroot (Cheltenham Town), and Colin Doyle (Coventry City).

Birmingham City Fixture List

All times are GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Major Questions Going into This Season

No. 1: Can Ben Foster Effectively Replace Joe Hart?

Last season, Birmingham City were powered by a great season in the goal by Joe Hart, who is now back at Manchester City with his loan stint over.

 

Of course, Ben Foster now is the starting goalkeeper, but he is a very inefficient goalkeeper (as he proved with Manchester United last year when he started for Edwin Van der Sar).

And for that reason, I don't think Ben Foster can effectively replace Joe Hart.

No. 2: Will St. Andrews Remain a Strong Home Fortress?

Last year, Birmingham City were a fantastic 8-9-2 at St. Andrews, as they were able to pick up 33 points at home, more than neighboring rival Aston Villa (who finished sixth in the table), as they got points against Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Tottenham, all at St. Andrews.

I don't think that Birmingham City will eclipse 33 points earned at home again, but they will gain somewhere between 25-30 points at home this year.

No. 3: Will Birmingham City once again have strong success against clubs at the top of the table?

That success against the top of the table will probably not be as great as it was last season as Joe Hart will not be in the goal replicating his heroics.

Instead, the inconsistent Ben Foster will be in the goal, and that will cause Birmingham City to lose to these top sides.

No. 4: Can Birmingham City contend for a European spot? 

If Joe Hart was still in the goal, Birmingham City could contend for a European spot and would finish higher than ninth in the table.

But with Ben Foster, I don't see Birmingham City doing as well as they did last season, and they will subsequently finish without a European spot.

For a preview of Blackburn's Premier League season, please click here.

For a preview of Blackpool's Premier League season, please click here.

For a preview of Bolton's Premier League season, please click here.

For a preview of Chelsea's Premier League season, please click here.

For a preview of Everton's Premier League season, please click here.

For a preview of Fulham's Premier League season, please click here.

For a preview of Liverpool's Premier League season, please click here.

For a preview of Manchester City's Premier League season, please click here.

For a preview of Manchester United's Premier League season, please click here. 

For a preview of Newcastle's Premier League season, please click here.

For a preview of Stoke City's Premier League season, please click here.

For a preview of Sunderland's Premier League season, please click here.

For a preview of Tottenham's Premier League season, please click here.  

For a premier of West Bromwich's Premier League season, please click here.  

For a preview of West Ham's Premier League season, please click here.

For a preview of Wigan's Premier League season, please click here.

For a preview of Wolverhampton's Premier League season, please click here.

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