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

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Championship clash between Huddersfield Town and Birmingham City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Huddersfield Town play host to Birmingham City on Tuesday evening with both clubs looking to move clear of the Championship relegation zone.

While the Terriers and Blues sit seven and five points ahead of Rotherham United, the 22nd-placed side in the division have two matches in hand.


Match preview

Birmingham City manager Aitor Karanka pictured on January 10, 2021© Reuters

With speculation intensifying regarding his long-term future at St Andrew's, Aitor Karanka has needed to consider whether he should take the shackles off this underperforming yet talented squad.

Although there has been little difference in terms of quality, Blues have claimed two wins from three matches, the second ending a long-standing period without success at their home ground.

Karanka's side were on their way to a 12th St Andrew's defeat of the campaign against Queens Park Rangers before two late goals from Kristian Pedersen and Alen Halilovic.

Birmingham fans have had to remain patient for the former Barcelona youngster to make an impact, but the playmaker's 20-yard winner could act as the catalyst for a more successful end to the season.

While Birmingham are showing signs that they are on the up, supporters of Huddersfield will be frustrated that they find themselves in the same position as they were under Danny Cowley 12 months ago.

Huddersfield Town manager Carlos Corberan reacts on January 16, 2021© Reuters

The Terriers have had their ups and downs under Carlos Corberan, the club initially seeming comfortable in mid-table after overcoming a slow start under the Spaniard.

However, collecting just five points from 11 games is by far the worst return in the division over that period, and it has left club officials fearing a return to League One.

Despite last weekend's 4-1 triumph over promotion-chasing Swansea City, Huddersfield have been brushed aside with minimal fuss by Derby County and Preston North End.

The intention had been to build a project under Corberan with a number of years in mind, but the powers-that-be could be forced into a change if Huddersfield succumb to a ninth defeat in 12 outings on Tuesday night.

Huddersfield Town Championship form: DLLWLL

Birmingham City Championship form: LLLWLW


Team News

Derby County's Nathan Byrne in action with Huddersfield Town's Aaron Rowe on February 23, 2021© Reuters

Aaron Rowe may be restored to the Huddersfield XI, a decision which would allow Pipa to return to right wing-back.

Richard Stearman could take the place of either Rarmani Edmonds-Green or Richard Keogh in defence, but Christopher Schindler and Harry Toffolo remain on a lengthy injury list.

While a change in strategy contributed to Birmingham's win at the weekend, Karanka may insist on starting with a more cautious approach.

Marc Roberts could come into the defence, but the likes of Halilovic and Jonathan Leko may have to stay patient on the substitutes' bench.

Huddersfield Town possible starting lineup:
Schofield; Stearman, Keogh, Sarr; Pipa, Vallejo, O'Brien, Rowe; Mbenza; Campbell, Holmes

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Etheridge; Colin, Dean, Roberts, Pedersen; Harper, Sunjic, Gardner; Sanchez, Hogan, Bela


SM words green background

We say: Huddersfield Town 1-1 Birmingham City

A win for either team on Tuesday could potentially change their season, putting them within touching distance of getting out of trouble. However, despite the rewards on offer, both managers will first want to avoid defeat, and that could lead to a low-scoring draw.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data


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Birmingham City manager Aitor Karanka pictured on January 10, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich41279565283790
2Watford412410759273282
3Brentford402013771403173
4Swansea CitySwansea402191048311772
5Barnsley412181254441071
6Bournemouth4019111064392568
7Reading411991356451166
8Cardiff CityCardiff4116111457451259
9Millwall411416114140158
10Middlesbrough41169164845357
11Queens Park RangersQPR401511144747056
12Stoke CityStoke411413144546-155
13Luton TownLuton40158173546-1153
14Bristol City41155214055-1550
15Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest411213163439-549
16Preston North EndPreston41146214155-1448
17Blackburn RoversBlackburn411211185247547
18Birmingham CityBirmingham411112183150-1945
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield401111184260-1844
20Derby CountyDerby411110203046-1643
21Coventry CityCoventry401012183656-2042
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham37106213851-1336
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds40118213452-1835
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe4189243064-3433

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