While Blues currently occupy 17th position, a 10-match winless streak has left the West Midlands outfit just four points above the relegation zone.
While Michael O'Neill was naturally disappointed with Stoke's 5-0 defeat at the hands of Leeds United on Thursday night, the Potters boss will at least feel satisfied that his team's fate remains in their own hands.
Not only do the Staffordshire outfit still sit one point above the relegation zone, registering maximum points on Sunday will see them edge ahead of Blues on goal difference.
On many levels, this is the perfect fixture for Stoke, who may have been left hoping that one of several rivals would lose their way in previous weeks.
Instead, O'Neill's team have an opportunity to put distance between themselves and the bottom three, while also improving on recording just one win from their last five outings.
As many as 11 goals have been conceded during that period, putting the pressure on what remains a solid second-tier backline to live up to their reputations.
For Birmingham, the upcoming fixture represents their first since the departure of Pep Clotet, who had remained in the dugout despite an earlier announcement regarding his departure.
Although they remain four points ahead of 22nd-placed Hull City, another setback at the bet365 Stadium may leave Birmingham on the brink of dropping into the bottom three.
Since keeping a clean sheet at neighbours West Bromwich Albion, 10 goals have been conceded in four games, including three against each of Hull, Huddersfield Town and Swansea City.
Stoke City Championship form: WDLLWL
Birmingham City Championship form: LDDLLL
After dropping down to the substitutes' bench in midweek, Jude Bellingham should be restored to the Birmingham starting lineup.
Gardner must decide whether to play himself or take a spot in the dugout, putting Maikel Kieftenbeld in contention for an appearance in midfield.
Harlee Dean may also be handed a starting role after being relegated to the substitutes' bench since the 3-3 draw with Hull.
O'Neill is likely to revert to a back four, which could lead to a recall for Tom Ince on one of the flanks.
Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Butland; Smith, Chester, Batth, Martins-Indi; Cousins, Clucas, Powell; McClean, Campbell, Ince
Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Camp, Colin, Roberts, Clarke-Salter, Pedersen; Crowley, Bellingham, Kieftenbeld, Bela; Hogan, Jutkiewicz
We say: Stoke City 2-1 Birmingham City
Although both clubs have struggled since the resumption, we feel that Stoke are in the best position to get back on track. However, with the stakes so high, expect this encounter to be a tense affair right up until the final whistle.