MX23RW : Sunday, November 28 02:22:20| >> :600:114386:114386:
Sep 12, 2020 at 12.30pm UK at St. Andrew's Stadium
BirminghamBirmingham City
Bela (37')
Sunjic (59'), Pedersen (72'), Clayton (80'), Bela (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Norgaard (49')

Preview: Birmingham City vs. Brentford - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Championship fixture between Birmingham City and Brentford, including team news and injury news.

Birmingham City and Brentford square off in their Championship opener on Saturday afternoon on the back of contrasting campaigns in the second tier.

While Brentford only missed out on promotion to the Premier League courtesy of a playoff final defeat, Birmingham had to wait until the final week before mathematically retaining their status in the division.

Match preview

Brentford boss Thomas Frank on July 18, 2020© Reuters

Just over a month after their heart-breaking defeat to Fulham at Wembley Stadium, Brentford are back preparing for a new season in the second tier, aware that they are most people's favourites for promotion.

That expectation comes from an outstanding effort from the Bees last time around, with their campaign decisively being undermined by defeats against Stoke City, Barnsley and the Cottagers.

Nevertheless, Thomas Frank, who may still lose more than star forward Ollie Watkins before the end of the transfer window, will be optimistic that this united group of players can learn from their stage fright in the big games.

Much could depend on whether Ivan Toney - brought in as a direct replacement for Watkins - can adapt to life in the Championship after netting 40 times in League One over the past two years.

That said, Frank will also want to see a backline which put together the second-best defensive record in the division pick up where they left off upon the resumption in June.

Despite months of doom and gloom at St Andrew's, Birmingham head into another Championship campaign in optimistic mood after the arrival of Aitor Karanka.

Boosted by the funds generated from the sale of Jude Bellingham, the Spaniard has been able to stamp his mark on his squad, already bringing in half-a-dozen fresh faces.

While the return of Jon Toral and addition of young winger Jonathan Leko have gone down well with Blues supporters, the arrivals of ex-Middlesbrough duo George Friend and Adam Clayton should prove to be just as important.

Although few are expecting Karanka to turn a struggling club into playoff contenders in one season, there is a feeling that he is the right man to get the team back up the table in the long term.

Birmingham City form (all competitions): L

Brentford form (all competitions): D

Team News

Stoke's Liam Lindsay and Birmingham's Lukas Jutkiewicz in action on August 31, 2019© Reuters

Karanka has suggested that Lukas Jutkiewicz will only be fit enough to take a place on the substitutes' bench after a thigh injury.

With Leko still sidelined, much of the side could remain the same, despite the disappointing 1-0 defeat against Cambridge United.

Having come through the final quarter of that game, Clayton may be handed a first start in midfield.

Brentford boss Frank is expected to recall the likes of Henrik Dalsgaard, Pontus Jansson and Christian Norgaard.

However, he has a decision to make regarding Said Benrahma, who is being linked with a move to a Premier League club.

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Preito; Colin, Dean, Friend, Pedersen; Clayton, Kieftenbeld; Bela, Crowley, Lakin; George

Brentford possible starting lineup:
Daniels; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Marcondes, Norgaard, Jensen; Mbuemo, Toney, Fosu

SM words green background

We say: Birmingham City 1-3 Brentford

While there have been changes in personnel in each side, we still feel that the end result will be as expected. Birmingham may require some time to settle into life under Karanka, and that could allow the visitors to record a comfortable win.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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General view of Birmingham City's St Andrew's taken 2016
Read Next:
Birmingham City: Transfer ins and outs - Summer 2020

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