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  • Stoke City 0-1 Birmingham City: Astonishing unbeaten run

    Birmingham stretched their astonishing unbeaten run in the Premier League to 11 matches as Stoke suffered another dose of the goal-shy Blues.

    Cameron Jerome's bundled 50th-minute effort was enough to separate the sides, and enough also to equal the club's longest stretch without defeat in the top flight going back 101 years to 1908.

    Remarkably, on that occasion Birmingham were relegated, but there is surely no chance of that happening this time around after a run of seven wins and four draws to lift the Blues up to seventh.

    As the final whistle sounded there boos and jeers from the Stoke fans, in contrast to those from the visiting supporters who chanted "We are unbeatable".

    Unlike Birmingham, who have 32 points from 20 matches, Stoke face certain relegation trouble unless they find a cure for their ills in front of goal.

    Boss Tony Pulis has made it clear that unless his side improve on a woeful tally of just 15 goals in 19 matches - failing to score in five of their last six - then a battle to beat the drop beckons.

    Customary effort aside on a bitterly-cold afternoon at the Britannia Stadium, there was little to commend in the opening 45 minutes.

    Stoke certainly shaved it in terms of possession, but when neither goalkeeper has even a routine save to make, it gives you some idea as to the relatively tame fodder that was served.

    Stoke are wholly reliant on their set-pieces - Liam Lawrence and Matthew Etherington with corners delivered from the flanks, and the typically booming throws from Rory Delap.

    Lawrence and Delap were two of the five changes made by Pulis from the side beaten 2-0 at Manchester City on Boxing Day.

    Three were enforced with Glenn Whelan and Salif Diao suspended, and An Wilkinson out with an ankle injury sustained at Eastlands, whilst Mamady Sidibe and Danny Collins were benched.



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