Date: 13th April 2016 at 3:37pm
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Birmingham City are set to face their fifth game in two weeks on Saturday as they prepare to welcome promotion hunting Burnley to St.Andrews.

Sean Dyche has built up a very close knit squad at Turf Moor this season and the Clarets looks destined for a return to the Premier League after what has been a very impressive season for them.

Gary Rowett’s side how now have nothing but pride to play for after losing disappointingly on Tuesday evening to a Leeds United side who picked up just their fifth away win of the season thanks to two Stuart Dallas goals either side of the half time break.

In recent weeks, Rowett has opted to change the side around, most notably he has dropped Tomasz Kuszczak from his number one spot in favour of Adam Legzdins and it’s fair to say that the Englishman hasn’t quite taken his chance.

This week, picking my five-a-side team has been very very difficult because of the quality of players that Burnley have so I have decided to change things round slightly.

Instead of the usual format that you are all used to, I have opted to go with three players from the away team and two from the home rather than the other way round because I feel like it will give me the strongest possible five players for the team so here we go…

GK: Tom Heaton.

The Burnley number one has been in fine form this season and he is only of only a small handful who actually has a better clean sheet ratio this season than Kuszczak.

With 17 to his name, Heaton is up there with the best in the league and for that reason he is in my five-a-side team for this week. Blues will find it very difficult to breach the back line this weekend and when they do, I assume that Heaton will be in the way.

DF: Ryan Shotton.

When Shotton first played for us just after he joined, I was rather nervous of how he was going to perform at right back and I was right to be nervy. His performances were poor and because of that it led to him being dropped.

However, in the last two games, Shotton has put in two fantastic performances, scoring once also and because of his improved efforts at centre back in the last week, I thought it would be the right call to put him in this weeks five-a-side team.

MF: Joey Barton and David Cotterill.

I have chosen to take one player from each side this week to give the squad some balance in the middle of the park.

To begin with, I have decided to give Cotterill a chance in midfield because he has had a hand in the last three goals that Blues have scored.

On Saturday, Cotterill’s ball into the box found the head of Clayton Donaldson to put Blues 1-0 up and then his freekick was parried into the path of Shotton who made it 2-0.

Then, against Leeds on Tuesday night, his freekick once again was parried by the goalkeeper, this time into the path of Donaldson who acrobatically found the back of the net.

Next to Cotterill I wanted to put a hard man in the team and that is the reason why I went for Barton. Yes, he may have eight yellow cards to his name but his ability to break play up and make things happen is unbelievable.

Barton’s style of play is brilliantly suited to the Championship and because he has excelled so much this year for Burnley, I thought it would only be right for him to have a play in this weeks five-a-side team.

ST: Andre Gray.

There was only really one option for this weeks striker and that was Gray. The former Brentford striker has been fantastic this season and having scored 21 goals in this current campaign, I am sure he will be hungry to score even more, and I would bet against him finding the net on Saturday.

The 24-year-old is flying this season and should the Clarets make it back into the Premier League then I am sure he will be a striker who progresses very well in the top flight of English football.

Blues and Burnley fans, what do you make of this weeks five-a-side team? Is it the strongest one that we have seen all season? Let us know in the comment section down below!

 
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