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Preview: Birmingham City vs. Nottingham Forest

Can Gary Rowett maintain his unbeaten start with Birmingham City? Sports Mole previews their Championship match against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Birmingham City can make it five games unbeaten under new manager Gary Rowett if they avoid defeat at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues' fortunes have noticeably improved under Rowett, who has guided them out of the bottom three and up to 19th place with two wins and two draws in his four games in charge.

They are only a point above the bottom three, though, and Rowett will know that there is a long way to go yet, despite the encouraging start.

Last weekend they edged out fellow strugglers Rotherham United 1-0 at the New York Stadium. Clayton Donaldson scored the goal and he is now starting to find some form - he has scored the Blues' last three goals - after an indifferent start to life at Birmingham following a summer switch from Brentford.

He has had to take on the goalscoring mantle of late with Wes Thomas suspended, and the latter will again be unavailable for the visit of Forest as he serves the last game of his three-match ban.

The reliance on Donaldson and general lack of firepower up front has led to the club pursuing giant Serbian striker Nikola Zigic, who was released by the club in the summer but now looks set for a return to the second city.

Forest travel to St Andrew's on a good run of form themselves, having won two in a row after 10 games without a win.

Stuart Pearce's side followed up their last-gasp victory over Norwich City with a convincing display at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, winning 3-0 at Molineux to climb up to eighth in the table and just two points off the playoff places.

Pearce has no reason to alter his starting XI, but Thomas Ince might earn a recall to the starting XI.

One of the players he could replace is Chris Burke, but he will be desperate to keep his position on the right of midfield as he faces his former club for the first time since leaving in the summer.

There was just one goal in the two matches between these sides last season and it came in their last meeting, when Matt Derbyshire scored the winner at the City Ground.

Birmingham:

Recent form: LLDWDW

Possible starting lineup: Randolph; Caddis, Morrison, Robinson, Grounds; Gleeson, Davis, Gray, Shinnie, Cotterill; Donaldson

Forest:

Recent form: DLLLWW

Possible starting lineup: Darlow; Lichaj, Mancienne, Lascelles, Fox; Burke, Osborn, Lansbury, Antonio; Fryatt, Assombalonga

Sports Mole says: 1-3


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Burton manager Gary Rowett looks on prior to the Capital One Cup Second Round match between Burton Albion and Queens Park Rangers at Pirelli Stadium on August 27, 2014
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina21131246
JapanJapan175830
United StatesUnited States16171346
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151137
AustraliaAustralia1031427
Great BritainGreat Britain891128
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

TENNIS
· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

SAILING
· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
EFL Cup
Olympic Games Men's Football
Scottish Premiership
Pre-Season Friendlies
Portuguese Super Cup
Taca da Liga
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Finnish Veikkausliiga
League of Ireland Premier
Belarusian Premier League
2.Bundesliga
Ligue 2
Major League Soccer
Brasileiro
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Chinese Super League
Tables

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