John Eustace will embark on his first managerial job in the EFL at St Andrew’s this season, and that does cast a cloud of doubt over the Blues’ capabilities to stay in the league.
Rotherham United and Wigan Athletic have not strengthened as they possibly would have liked after being promoted from League One, and Blackpool have had a very turbulent summer window to this point.
Eustace issued a rallying cry in response to the Blues being amongst the favourites for the drop when he spoke to The Athletic.
He said: “It’s not nice to hear but it’s an opportunity for us to prove people wrong, roll our sleeves up and make sure that we fight and we scrap for each other.
“I’m very proud to be managing this football club.”
If it was not for points deductions the Blues would have been in the thick of a relegation battle again last season, with their fast start under Lee Bowyer being the main reason they stayed away from trouble.
Dion Sanderson is an exciting pick-up on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, but their other business has been fairly underwhelming.
Quiz: Can you remember the score the last time Birmingham City played at these 26 stadiums?
One positive in the summer transfer window for the Blues has been some of their outgoings.
Offloading Fran Villalba, Ivan Sanchez, Jeremie Bela permanently and Ivan Sunjic, only on loan to Hertha Berlin, should give the club a far more sustainable wage bill following a prolonged period of poor recruitment.
Eustace begins his journey with the Blues with arguably the toughest away day in the calendar, a trip to face last season’s sixth placed side Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.
Birmingham won 5-0 in the identical head-to-head last term and should take a lot of confidence from that, but the Hatters will be desperate to redeem themselves after a positive summer of recruitment.