Birmingham v West Ham preview
Dyer set for Hammers debut
By Peter Fraser. Last Updated: 17/08/07 11:21am
Curbishley: Set to hand Dyer debut
Birmingham will be hoping they can continue their recent run of goal scoring,
while West Ham look set to hand a debut to new signing Kieron Dyer.
Both sides are also looking for their first win of the season and it looks set to be a hard fought encounter.
In Birmingham's last campaign in the top-flight, in 2005/06, they suffered relegation after only finding the back of the net on 28 occasions, however manager Steve Bruce seems to have opted for a more attacking approach this season.
Blues have scored twice in their first two games, against Chelsea and Sunderland, and Bruce looks set to keep the same formula to face the Hammers.
Birmingham will still be without Damien Johnson (hamstring), Matt Sadler (Achillies), Franck Queudrue (ankle) and Martin Taylor (stomach muscle), but they have no fresh injury concerns after Olivier Kapo and Johan Djourou recovered from minor knocks sustained in Wednesday night's draw with the Black Cats.
Meanwhile, West Ham boss Alan Curbishley will be keen to collect the three points after an unconvincing performance in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on the opening day.
Curbishley completed the signing of Dyer on Thursday for a fee believed to be in the region of £8million and the former Newcastle midfielder could start in place of Scott Parker who is still struggling with a knee injury.
That could see Dyer lining up alongside his old St James' Park colleague Lee Bowyer, but Curbishley insists he has no problem playing the duo together despite their controversial clash when playing for Newcastle against Aston Villa in 2005.
The Hammers have also been boosted by the news that Australian defender Lucas Neill has made himself available for selection after recovering from a knee injury.
Neill admits he is not yet 100 per cent fit, but will play if required.
However, Curbishley will still be without Nigel Quashie (foot), Calum Davenport (hernia) and Julien Faubert (Achillies) who all remain on the injured list.
Dean Ashton looks set for a place on the bench as he continues his gentle return to action from last season's broken ankle.
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