MX23RW : Wednesday, February 19 20:04:35| >> :600:2963777:2963777:
Jan 18, 2020 at 3pm UK at ​St Andrew's
Attendance: 20,482
BirminghamBirmingham City
CardiffCardiff City
FT(HT: 1-0)
Tomlin (64')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Birmingham City and Cardiff City, including team news and predicted lineups.

Birmingham City will be looking to make it three straight wins in all competitions when they welcome Cardiff City to St Andrew's in the Championship on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues sit down in 18th spot in the table following a tough campaign to date, while Cardiff occupy 12th position, four points off the playoffs heading into the latest round of fixtures.

Match preview

Birmingham City manager Pep Clotet pictured on December 14, 2019© Reuters

Birmingham last competed in the Premier League during the 2010-11 campaign but have been in the Championship since. Successive 19th-place finishes were followed by 17th last season, showing that the Blues are not even close to pushing for a return to the top tier.

It has been more of the same for the club this season as they sit 18th in the table with 32 points to show from their 27 matches. They are eight points clear of the relegation zone as things stand, although a series of bad results could certainly put them in trouble once again.

Confidence should be high heading into this weekend's match, though, as Pep Clotet's side have won their last two games in all competitions against Blackburn Rovers and Luton Town.

Indeed, having booked their spot in the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 success at home to Blackburn, they were victorious by the same scoreline away to struggling Luton in the Championship last weekend.

Cardiff City manager Neil Harris pictured on January 15, 2020© Reuters

Birmingham will also be the fresher of the two teams considering that Cardiff were in FA Cup action on Wednesday night, recording a 4-3 win over Carlisle United to advance to the next round.

While progressing in the cup will be seen as a huge positive, it has left head coach Neil Harris with little time to prepare for the clash at St Andrew's, which will surely hand the home side the advantage.

The Welsh outfit have only lost one of their last six in the Championship, although just one victory has arrived during that spell. They followed a 6-1 defeat at Queens Park Rangers with a goalless draw against Swansea City in front of their own supporters last weekend.

The Bluebirds are only four points off sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday as things stand, though, and if they can find a way of translating draws into wins then the team might not be far off the top six come May.

Birmingham Championship form: LLDLLW
Birmingham form (all competitions): LDLLWW

Cardiff Championship form: DDDWLD
Cardiff form (all competitions): DWLDDW

Team News

Harlee Dean in action for Birmingham City in August 2018© Reuters

Birmingham will have key midfielder Ivan Sunjic available following suspension, but Harlee Dean's red card in the win over Luton means that the defender will miss out at St Andrew's.

Jude Bellingham, who continues to be linked with a move to the Premier League, is pushing for a return to the XI having been named on the bench last time out.

However, there are not expected to be many alterations to the starting side, meaning that Lukas Jutkiewicz should again be joined by Kerim Mrabti in the final third.

As for Cardiff, head coach Harris has some thinking to do with Aden Flint, Josh Murphy and Danny Ward all putting in positive performances against Carlisle on Wednesday night.

The bulk of the side that started against Swansea last weekend is expected to remain the same, though, meaning that Junior Hoilett, Lee Tomlin and Leandro Bacuna should all feature.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, though, is out for the rest of the season with a hamstring problem.

Birmingham possible starting lineup:
Camp; Colin, Harding, Clarke-Salter, Pedersen; Maghoma, Sunjic, Gardner, Bellingham; Mrabti, Jutiewicz

Cardiff possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Peltier, Morrison, Flint, Bennett; Pack, Bacuna; Hoilett, Tomlin, Whyte; Glatzel

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We say: Birmingham 1-1 Cardiff

This will be a tough game for Cardiff off the back of a midweek FA Cup tie. Birmingham's confidence will have improved following two positive results, meanwhile, and we are tipping a 1-1 draw at St Andrew's.

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

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Cardiff City manager Neil Harris pictured on January 15, 2020
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20Norwich CityNorwich2646162448-2418

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