Rowett guided the West Midlands outfit to a respectable 10th-place finish last season, but they will be aware that they come up against a Reading outfit who will be desperate to atone for their disappointing showings during the last two months of the previous campaign.
When Rowett took over at St Andrew's last season, Birmingham looked certainties to become embroiled in a relegation battle, but since October, the former Burton Albion chief has established the Blues as a mid-table club.
The long-term ambition of the club's hierarchy and supporters will be a top-six place - like many clubs in the division - but given the modest amount of funds made available to him, Rowett has, so far, performed a minor miracle.
There will be slight reservations about the players brought into the club, but with plenty of Championship experience between them, they could lead Birmingham to mid-table respectability for a second successive season.
Pre-season began well for the Blues, but their last two results would have inevitably hit their confidence heading into the new season. After losing 2-0 at Burton Albion, they let slip a two-goal lead against Premier League Leicester City to conclude their preparations.
The spectacular strikes from David Cotterill and Demarai Gray - two of their key players - were positives but they will be desperate for an improved showing at the back on Saturday afternoon to prevent belief in their ranks being hit on a permanent basis.
Recent form: WDDWLL
Reading's run to the FA Cup semi-finals last season was a terrific achievement, but they were unable to enjoy their achievement after such a disappointing conclusion in the league, with just two wins being recorded in their final 14 games.
They survived relegation, but it left them with plenty of rebuilding work for the summer and Clarke has obliged by freshening up his squad.
Adam Federici, Alex Pearce and Jem Karacan are notable departures, but they have been replaced with quality additions in Paul McShane and Stephen Quinn, both of whom should become permanent fixtures in the starting lineup.
Ali Al-Habsi and Jonathan Bond will battle it out for the goalkeeper's jersey and Orlando Sa could prove to be a shrewd signing in attack, leaving Clarke ultimately content with his business during the transfer window.
After ending last season in 19th place, Reading would be pushed to do worse than last season's effort, but they will ultimately have eyes on the playoffs and will be keen to begin the season on the front foot.
Recent form: DWDLD
As for Reading, McShane, Quinn and Sa all look definites for the starting XI, but it remains to be seen who will be chosen to begin the season in goal.
Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Kuszczak, Caddis, Spector, Morrison, Grounds, Cotterill, Gleeson, Kieftenbald, Gray; Shinnie; Donaldson
Reading possible starting lineup:
Bond, Gunter, Obita, McShane, Ferdinand, Tshibola, Norwood, Quinn, Williams, Blackman, Sa
Head To Head
The Blues and the Royals have met on 30 previous occasions, which has seen both sides record 10 victories apiece with the other 10 fixtures ending in draws.
Last season, Birmingham did the double over the Berkshire outfit, but before that, Reading had won six of the previous nine encounters.
At St Andrew's, Birmingham have prevailed in just six of 15 fixtures, with Reading closely behind with five triumphs to their name.
We say: Birmingham City 1-1 Reading
With both teams throwing up a mixture of pre-season results, this match is difficult to call. Birmingham are perhaps the narrow favourites but after letting slip a two-goal advantage against Leicester in the final friendly, confidence cannot be as high as it should be.