Ridgewell believes Blues can upset Arsenal

Birmingham City defender Liam Ridgewell believes the Blues can get back to winning ways and pick up points against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium this weekend.

Birmingham have made a poor start to the season after registering only one win in seven games, leaving them in 16th position in the Premier League.

However, Ridgewell is confident that Birmingham can follow West Brom’s example, after the Hawthorns stunned the Gunners and beat them 3-2 earlier this season, and get a good result in North London on Saturday.

“We want to start winning games and start picking up points and that starts on Saturday against Arsenal,” the 26-year-old told Absolute Radio.

“Emirates Stadium is a difficult place to go but we can take confidence from West Brom going there and getting three points. If we come away with a point, it’s a good result for us, but a win would be great, so we’re going there in high spirits.”

But the defender knows the visitors won’t see much of the ball against a free-flowing Arsenal side and explained boss Alex McLeish’s tactics for the clash.

“Get running and try and keep the ball as much as you can. He [McLeish] is not a massive hands-on manager, but when he needs to step in and tell players what they need to do, he does that.”

Summer signing Nikola Zigic could make his first league start since his £6 million switch from Valencia, while ex-Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb, who is on a season-long loan at Birmingham, will return to Emirates Stadium for the first time since leaving the Gunners for Barcelona in 2008.

“He [Hleb] is a quality player, you don’t play for clubs like Arsenal and Barcelona for no reason, so we’ve got to try and bring out the best in him and try and fit him into our style of play,” he said.

Ridgewell, who has just signed a new contract with the Blues, also commented on his controversial move from city rivals Aston Villa.

“It was difficult to leave such a big club like Villa for their arch rivals but for me it was an easy decision.

"I wasn’t playing at Villa and wanted to be playing week in and week out, and this is what I’ve come here to do and so far I’ve been able to do it.”

Listen to Arsenal vs Birmingham on Saturday October 16 only on Absolute Radio extra - on DAB Digital Radio, 1215AM and online in the UK from 1.30pm. Full match commentary at 3pm. For more go to www.absoluteradio.co.uk

By Vaishali Bhardwaj