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

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Championship fixture between Birmingham City and Wycombe Wanderers, including team news and predicted lineups.

Birmingham City and Wycombe Wanderers square off at St Andrew's on Wednesday evening with both clubs having enjoyed a return to form.

The Blues have moved up to 11th position after back-to-back victories, while Wycombe are now just two points from moving outside of the relegation zone for the first time this season.


Match preview

Birmingham City manager Aitor Karanka pictured on October 4, 2020© Reuters

With just three goals being scored from their opening seven fixtures, Birmingham boss Aitor Karanka was understandably receiving criticism regarding his team's performances.

However, back-to-back 2-1 wins over Huddersfield Town and Preston North End have moved Blues back into the top half of the standings.

Birmingham's decisive goals in those two contests came in the final five minutes, meaning that more than half of their points this season have come from finishing on the front foot.

Karanka will want to see much more from a side who have sometimes failed to impress, and the Spaniard also has a responsibility to adopt a more eye-catching style of play in order to move further up the table.

Nevertheless, only three teams possess a better defensive record than Birmingham, something Karanka will point to if he feels that any negative comments aimed at his team are unfair.

As far as Wycombe are concerned, Gareth Ainsworth is looking to build on their recent resurgence by claiming a first away point of the season.

Ainsworth may have had his doubts over whether his side were capable of earning anything against Watford last weekend, but a hard-fought point has led to the Chairboys turning a corner.

A much-needed clean sheet came with the 1-0 triumph over relegation rivals Sheffield Wednesday, a result which has given the club an eight-point cushion over the Owls.

Next in their sights will be chasing down Derby County and Nottingham Forest, and Ainsworth will feel that Wycombe can play with a sense of freedom on their visit to the West Midlands.

Birmingham City Championship form: DLLDWW

Wycombe Wanderers Championship form: LLLLDW


Team News

Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth pictured on September 7, 2019© Reuters

Birmingham boss Karanka is likely to keep changes to a minimum after playing three at the back proved to be effective at Preston.

Although Gary Gardner came off the substitutes' bench to score the winner, Riley McGree may keep his place in the centre of the pitch.

Given the opposition, Karanka may be prepared to use Ivan Sanchez and Jonathan Leko in wide positions.

Matt Bloomfield is pushing for a return in the centre of Wycombe's midfield, potentially at the expense of Dennis Adeniran.

Barring any late fitness issues, that could be the sole alteration made by Ainsworth.

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Etheridge; Dean, San Jose, Roberts; Colin, Sunjic, McGree, Pedersen; Sanchez, Jutkiewicz, Leko

Wycombe Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Allsopp; Grimmer, Stewart, Knight, Jacobson; Bloomfield, Thompson; Kashket, Wheeler, Horgan; Akinfenwa


SM words green background

We say: Birmingham City 2-1 Wycombe Wanderers

Everything points to a nervy encounter lacking in goalmouth action being played out in the West Midlands. However, both managers will regard this match as an opportunity, and the Blues may benefit from pushing for victory during the latter stages.


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

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Birmingham City manager Aitor Karanka pictured on October 4, 2020
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bournemouth9630167921
2West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom9540168819
3Coventry CityCoventry9612126619
4Fulham95221981117
5Stoke CityStoke95221310317
6Blackburn RoversBlackburn9441169716
7Huddersfield TownHuddersfield94141312113
8Bristol City93421110113
9Reading94141618-213
10Queens Park RangersQPR93331714312
11Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd93331312112
12Birmingham CityBirmingham93331010012
13Cardiff CityCardiff93241214-211
14Blackpool9324812-411
15Preston North EndPreston9243911-210
16Luton TownLuton92431316-310
17Swansea CitySwansea9243811-310
18Middlesbrough9234911-29
19Millwall9162911-29
20Barnsley9153610-48
21Peterborough UnitedPeterborough92161020-107
22Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest9126813-55
23Hull City9126514-95
24Derby CountyDerby924368-2-2

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