MX23RW : Tuesday, October 20 06:06:28| >> :120:34367:34367:
Sep 26, 2020 at 3pm UK at St. Andrew's Stadium
BirminghamBirmingham City
1-1
RotherhamRotherham United
Bela (90' pen.)
Sunjic (72')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Sadlier (87' pen.)
MacDonald (45+1')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship game between Birmingham City and Rotherham United, including team news and predicted lineups.

Birmingham City welcome Rotherham United to St Andrew's on Saturday afternoon looking to build on their unbeaten start to the Championship campaign.

The visitors make the trip to the West Midlands having also enjoyed a solid opening to the season, recording three points from their first two matches.


Match preview

Birmingham City manager Aitor Karanka pictured on September 12, 2020© Reuters

Birmingham City supporters spent the closing weeks of last season witnessing their side move closer to the relegation zone on a weekly basis, eventually only avoiding the drop to League One by two points.

The sale of Jude Bellingham and arrival of new head coach Aitor Karanka has led to a change of ambition, however, and it now looks like Blues are in good shape to make a bid for the playoffs.

Although fans will err on the side of caution, four points and two clean sheets from games against Brentford and Swansea City is a superb return, particularly with so many new faces linking up with the squad.

Birmingham will eventually have to show a greater cutting edge in the final third, something which may happen in future games after the arrival of Scott Hogan.

Nevertheless, Karanka has done a terrific job in turning pessimism into optimism in the matter of months, and another win here would keep the club among the early pacesetters.

Rotherham are another team who have been tipped to spend more time in the bottom half of the table than in the upper echelons, but the Millers have the potential to go under the radar this season.

Their opening-day win did come over second-tier minnows Wycombe Wanderers, opposition who conceded five goals at Blackburn Rovers in their next outing.

However, that success has eased the pressure on the Yorkshire side ahead of the game on Saturday, one which Paul Warne will feel is winnable with the right approach.

Like Blues, Rotherham are finding goals hard to come by, but Warne will have confidence in a defence which have only conceded twice in their opening three games in all competitions.

Birmingham City Championship form: WD
Birmingham City form (all competitions): LWD

Rotherham United Championship form: WL
Rotherham United form (all competitions): DWL


Team News

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne pictured on September 12, 2020© Reuters

George Hirst could make his first Championship start for Rotherham, potentially taking the place of Freddie Ladapo.

Wes Harding is in line to face his former club, just over a month since completing a transfer from St Andrew's.

Barring any late fitness issues, Karanka is unlikely to make any alterations to his Birmingham XI.

New arrival Mikel San Jose will be named among the substitutes at best, joining recent arrival Hogan in having to remain patient for an opportunity.

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Etheridge; Colin, Dean, Friend, Pedersen; Sunjic, Clayton; Sanchez, Toral, Bela; Jutwiewicz

Rotherham United possible starting lineup:
Blackman; Harding, Ihiekwe, A.MacDonald, Mattock; Ogbene, S.MacDonald, Lindsay, Sadlier; Hirst, Smith


SM words green background

We say: Birmingham City 2-1 Rotherham United

While Karanka is placing priority on ensuring that his side are solid defensively, there will be certain games this season where they have to show a greater attacking intent. This fixture is one of those occasions, and we feel that Blues will be able to prevail by the odd goal in three.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data

ID:415582:

Who will win Saturday's Championship clash between Birmingham City and Rotherham United?

Birmingham City
Draw
Rotherham United
Birmingham City
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Rotherham United
0.0%
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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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