McLeish: We can stun Blues

ALEX MCLEISH believes his Birmingham City high-fliers can derail Chelsea’s title charge at Stamford Bridge tonight.

McLeish’s side are currently lying a creditable eighth in the Premier League following a club record run of 15 matches unbeaten.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea can go back to the top of the table with three points tonight, but McLeish has warned the title favourites not to underestimate his in-form troops.

“I think everybody is waiting for us to get beat,” the Scot told City A.M. “They’ll say it’s this one or this one and we’ve just kept going.

“To come back from Chelsea with anything would be a great achievement. We came back from Anfield with a precious point and another good performance. We’re under no illusions about the task ahead of us.

“It will be a really difficult game but we can frustrate Chelsea and we can have some threat of our own then we’ve got to believe that we can come back up north with a decent result.”

McLeish is expected to hand a debut to new midfield man Craig Gardner, who completed his £3m move from local rivals Aston Villa yesterday.

The England Under-21 international has signed a four-and-a-half year contract at St Andrews and follows Spanish playmaker Michel in joining the Blues revolution under new owner Carson Yeung.

McLeish is also being linked with a move for Tottenham’s unsettled striker Roman Pavlyuchenko and Liverpool forward Ryan Babel, but the boss insists he won’t be spending his estimated £40m budget just for the sake of it.

“We’ve spent about £3m which is a long way short of £20-40m that was banded about. And I’ve no intention of spending that with the team has been playing, but I still believe we have to spend more money to bring a striker in or a striker and a wide man for more cover in the squad.

“I would be prepared to spend £10-12m but let’s not beat about the bush there’s about a thousand names put in. But there’s one or two that are on target and we want to get one of the targets at least. If it goes to the wire then we’re starting to cut it fine.”