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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship meeting between Swansea City and Birmingham City, including team news and injury news.

Swansea City and Birmingham City go head to head at the Liberty Stadium having both started their Championship campaigns with three points.

After the Blues had recorded an impressive 1-0 victory over Brentford, Swansea prevailed by the same scoreline at Preston North End.


Match preview

Swansea City manager Steve Cooper pictured on June 27 2020© Reuters

When Swansea succumbed at Newport County in the EFL Cup, Steve Cooper may have felt that his side could miss the presence of Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster.

However, despite only edging out Preston by a narrow margin, the lack of sustained goal threat forced Swansea to show a different side of their game, something which will prove important as the season progresses.

Providing that their three first-choice centre-backs can remain fit, the Welsh outfit have a settled look about them in defence, leaving Cooper to focus on finding extra firepower at the other end of the pitch.

The addition of Morgan Gibbs-White could prove to be a shrewd piece of business, but Cooper requires more competition for Andre Ayew and new addition Jamal Lowe if the club are to reach the playoffs for a second season in succession.

The same applies to Birmingham City, who have been heavily reliant on Lukas Jutkiewicz during his four-year spell at St Andrew's.

With Aitor Karanka's teams not known for their goals, bringing in Scott Hogan on a permanent basis earlier this week is exactly what the club needed on top of the arrivals of more defensive-minded players.

Despite having faith in his side, Karanka would have been left pleasantly surprised by how his new team outfought Brentford last weekend, just a week after a flat performance against Cambridge City in the EFL Cup.

Although it will take time for an array of fresh faces to adapt to their new surroundings, Karanka has laid the building blocks for what must surely be an improved campaign after the troubles of the last 12 months.

Swansea City Championship form: W
Swansea City form (all competitions): LW

Birmingham City Championship form: W
Birmingham City form (all competitions): LW


Team News

Neil Etheridge in action for Cardiff City on April 16, 2019© Reuters

Despite his clean sheet last weekend, Zach Jeacock is expected to be replaced by new Birmingham goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.

Providing that Jutkiewicz showed no ill effects from his first outing after injury, Hogan will be named among the replacements.

Barring any late fitness issues, Swansea boss Cooper is unlikely to make any changes to his side.

Should he wish to include Gibbs-White and Routledge on the flanks, Ayew or Lowe would drop out of the team.

Swansea City possible starting lineup:
Woodman; Cabango, Rodon, Guehi; Roberts, Smith, Grimes, Bidwell; Gibbs-White; Lowe, Ayew

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Etheridge; Colin, Dean, Friend, Pedersen; Sunjic, Clayton; Sanchez, Toral, Bela; Jutkiewicz


SM words green background

We say: Swansea City 2-1 Birmingham City

While we do not expect many goals in this game, it is difficult to predict anything other than a Swansea win. Even though Blues are in good hands with Karanka at the helm, the home side are more settled in how they want to play, something which could prove decisive this weekend.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or draw 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/Draw:data

ID:414604:

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

Swansea City
Draw
Birmingham City
Swansea City
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Birmingham City
0.0%
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Birmingham City manager Aitor Karanka pictured on September 12, 2020
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