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

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Championship game between Birmingham City and Huddersfield Town, including team news and predicted lineups.

Birmingham City welcome Huddersfield Town to St Andrew's on Wednesday evening with the opportunity to move 10 points clear of the Championship relegation zone.

On the back of three successive defeats, the Terriers travel to the West Midlands knowing that a further setback will leave them facing an uphill battle to avoid dropping into League One.

Match preview

Huddersfield boss Danny Cowley on February 1, 2020© Reuters

When Danny Cowley was appointed as Huddersfield boss during the early weeks of the season, the Terriers hierarchy would have been demanding stability over looking to earn an immediate return to the Premier League.

However, the Yorkshire outfit are now under real threat of suffering back-to-back relegations after losing three games in a row without scoring a goal from open play.

Although Huddersfield are still within three points of 18th-placed Charlton Athletic, Cowley will acknowledge that his players are running out of time to turn things around.

From a certain standpoint, a visit to Birmingham is the perfect fixture at this time, and it begins a run of five games against opposition who are either out of form or no higher than mid-table.

Nevertheless, while those games offer a window of opportunity for Huddersfield, the longer it takes to get another win on the board will only increase the stakes heading into their next outing.

With Pep Clotet having already revealed that he will be leaving at the end of the season, Birmingham will be content with simply avoiding becoming embroiled in any kind of a relegation battle.

However, while five points from six games have kept Blues out of trouble for now, defeat on Wednesday would leave the club just four points above their next opponents.

Such a scenario highlights that they can ill-afford to take their foot off the gas at this stage, something which would have undoubtedly been told to the players after their showing against Hull City last weekend.

While the West Midlands outfit fought back from 2-0 down to claim a 3-3 draw, it represented a missed opportunity to put 11 points between them and the bottom three.

Birmingham City Championship form: DDDLDD

Huddersfield Town Championship form: LWWLLL

Team News

Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Having contributed two assists after coming off the substitutes' bench on Saturday, Jeremie Bela will expect to be handed a recall to the Birmingham starting lineup.

That will likely see Maikel Kieftenbeld drop down to the replacements, allowing Jude Bellingham to return to a position in the middle of the pitch.

Huddersfield will be without midfielder Juninho Bacuna after his red card against Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

Cowley is unlikely to be shy when it comes to making alterations to his team with changes expected in all areas of the pitch.

Jon Gorenc Stankovic, Trevor Chalobah, Emile Smith Rowe and Fraizer Campbell are all in contention for recalls after being introduced as substitutes at the City Ground.

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Camp; Colin, Dean, Clarke-Salter, Pedersen; Crowley, Gardner, Bellingham, Bela; Hogan, Jutkiewicz

Huddersfield Town possible starting lineup:
Lossl; Duhaney, Schindler, Stankovic, Toffolo; Chalobah, Hogg; Rowe, O'Brien, Pritchard; Grant

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We say: Birmingham City 2-1 Huddersfield Town

At some stage, Huddersfield are likely to get back on track. However, despite the quality and experience which Cowley has at his disposal, we feel that a hard-working performance from the home side will get the job done on Wednesday night.

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Birmingham boss Pep Clotet on February 1, 2020
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