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Apr 26, 2014 at 3pm UK at St Andrew's
BirminghamBirmingham City
LeedsLeeds United
Macheda (83')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Smith (58'), Pugh (60'), Caddis (78' og.)

Preview: Birmingham City vs. Leeds United

Sports Mole looks ahead to Saturday's Championship encounter between relegation-threatened Birmingham and Leeds.

The threat of relegation is looming increasingly large over Birmingham City, but they could effectively end it with victory over Leeds United at St Andrew's on Saturday.

Lee Clark's side are only out of the bottom three on goal difference as things stand, but their fate is still under their own control with a game in hand over the three teams below.

Their far superior goal difference compared to their relegation rivals could prove to be pivotal and means that a victory on Saturday, coupled with defeat for Blackpool away to Wigan Athletic, would leave them all but safe.

Anything other than a win could see them dragged further into the mire, however, and with high-flying Wigan awaiting them in their game in hand there is no guarantee that it will act as an advantage.

Birmingham have now lost three games on the trot and eight of their last 11 in the league, so they can have no complaints at finding themselves in such a precarious position.

It is their dismal home form that has been their downfall this season, with no wins and just seven points in their last 16 Championship matches in front of their own fans. The last time the home side won in the league at St Andrew's was way back at the start of October.

Unsurprisingly, their 14-point home haul is the worst in the league, so it will concern Clark that they have two of their three remaining matches at St Andrew's.

The dismal nature of their last defeat, with saw them trail Blackburn Rovers 4-0 at half time, could lead to a number of changes to the side, but Neal Eardley and Matthew Green remain sidelined.

Leeds are going through a tricky spell themselves, although their collapse has not been dramatic enough to see them dragged into the relegation scrap.

All eyes are very much on the end of the season now, and it can't come soon enough for the club as they look forward to a new era under owner Massimo Cellino.

Six defeats in their last eight matches makes for a pretty poor end to the season and Leeds could still finish the campaign as low as 17th having had aspirations of the playoffs not too long ago.

However, an ominous sign for Birmingham is that Leeds's only four victories since February 1 have all come against the other four teams currently in the bottom five of the table.

Last Saturday's Yorkshire derby victory over Barnsley ended a seven-match winless streak on the road for Brian McDermott's side, and it will come as welcome news that this is their last away game of the season.

Ross McCormack is closing in on the Championship top scorer award despite his side's troubles this season, and he will once again lead the line for a Leeds team with no new injury concerns.

Recent form

Birmingham: WLWLLL


Possible starting lineups

Birmingham: Randolph; Caddis, Thorpe, Robinson, Hancox; Spector, Huws; Burke, Macheda, Reilly; Zigic

Leeds: Butland; Wootton, Pearce, Lees, Warnock; Austin, Tonge, Murphy, Mowatt; McCormack, Smith

Sports Mole says: 0-1

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