Bela returns for Birmingham City

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Angolan winger Jeremie Bela is expected to be back in the match day squad for Birmingham City as they host Middlesbrough in the English Championship on Saturday afternoon. 

Two weeks ago, the winger missed a game against Reading FC after pulling his hamstring in a pre-match warm-up session. He was forced to also miss out in the club’s loss against Watford last weekend as Birmingham’s woes continued.

 

Another loss on Wednesday against Cardiff City made things worse for coach Aitor Karanka who now has a must-win clash against Middlesbrough to avoid being sacked. The worrying statistic for the hosts will be the fact that their visitors arrive at St Andrews Stadium undefeated in their last two games having won 3-0 against Millwall and 1-0 against Luton Town.  

Bela has played 16 league games this season and scored two goals while assisting another four strikes so far. He has already equalled last season’s tally of goals and is three assists away from equalling his assist numbers too.

The 27-year-old was born in France to a Congolese father and an Angolan mother, he played for several clubs in his country of birth before making a switch to England in 2019.

He started his career at AS Herblay in 1999 before going on to continue his development at Ville d’EvryViry-Chatillon, Clairefontaine and RC Lens who eventually gave him his senior debut in professional football back in 2012. He played 17 senior games for Lens before making a switch across the country to join Dijon in 2014. In 74 games for Dijon the Angolan found the back of the net 10 times. 

Spanish Segunda Liga side Albacete signed the winger in 2017 and he played 67 league games scoring 10 goals, a return which attracted Birmingham City. In his first year at the club, he has scored four goals and assisted a further 11 strikes so far. 

Kick-off at St Andrews Stadium is scheduled for 17:00 (SA time).

RELATED ARTICLE: Zito Luvumbo: the Angolan wonderkid destined for the stars 

By Prince Sobayeni 

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