Rovers travel to Solihull Moors to face Birmingham City on Friday evening for their third pre-season game ahead of the 2018/19 Sky Bet League One campaign.
Grant McCann’s side have started their pre-season campaign with two wins in as many games, with victories over Alfreton Town and Frickley Athletic respectively.
Brief history of Birmingham City
Birmingham City play at the 29,409-capacity St Andrew’s stadium.
The club’s most successful season came in the 1955/56 campaign as they finished sixth in Division One, which at the time was the top division in the country. In the same season, they managed to reach the FA Cup final. They picked up their first major trophy in 1963 by winning the League Cup with a 3-1 win over Aston Villa on aggregate.
Blues were relegated from the Premier League on the last day of the 2010/11 season and have been in the Championship ever since. The only time they looked likely to make a return to the top flight was in the following season as they finished fourth before missing out to Blackpool in the play-offs. They have since come very close to relegation to League One in three of the last five years.
Who’s in charge?
Garry Monk was appointed as manager of the club in March as he signed a three-and-a-half-year deal and became the club’s fifth permanent manager in 15 months. His appointment came shortly after the dismissal of Steve Cotterill who left the club sat in the relegation zone.
Monk was tasked with the challenge of keeping Birmingham in the division and did, securing a 3-1 win over Fulham on the final day of the season at St Andrew’s.
The 31-year-old arrived at the club with a considerable amount of managerial experience in the Championship. He came very close to guiding Leeds United to the play-offs before a frustrating spell in charge of Middlesbrough. His managerial career originally began with Swansea City in the Premier League.
Ones to watch
The 30-year-old centre-back has been at St Andrew’s since he joined the club from Charlton Athletic in 2014 following a successful loan spell. He has previously featured for Cambridge United, Leicester City and Sheffield Wednesday. He has so far made more than 130 appearances for Blues and has established himself as a key part of their backline.
The 27-year-old attacking midfielder joined Blues in August last year on a four-year contract, for a fee believed to have made him the club’s record buy. He has so far made a total of 32 appearances for the club, scoring five goals. He first made a name for himself in English football at Brentford as he scored 23 goals in 69 appearances and helped the Bees secure a place in the Championship play-offs.
The 21-year-old striker has been one of Birmingham’s brightest sparks in recent years. He joined Blues in August 2016 from Sheffield United following a considerable amount of transfer speculation. He signed a new five-year contract at the club last September but his 2017/18 season was hampered by injury. He has so far scored 12 goals in 70 appearances for the club.
Last time out
These two sides last met in the Championship in April 2014 as Birmingham secured a 3-1 win at the Keepmoat Stadium. Two goals from Federico Macheda as well as a late strike from Lee Novak were enough to ensure that Blues moved level on points with Rovers and eased their relegation worries.
Want to go to the game?
Ticket prices for the game against Birmingham are as follows:
Senior (65+) £5
Young Adult (16-24) £5
15 & Under £1