Birmingham take on newly promoted Bristol City on Saturday.
Bristol arrive after a 2-1 defeat at home to Burnley at the bank holiday weekend. The shock result was a week before where Steve Cotterill’s men beat promotion favourites Middlesbrough 1-0 away from home.
City have sold out their full allocation of away tickets for the trip. All 2,600 tickets for the match were snapped up.
As for Blues they are unbeaten this season, picking up 8 points from a possible 12.
Head to head
Birmingham are unbeaten and also have a game in hand on their rivals. Blues have impressed so far this season as their improvement under Gary Rowett continues.
Bristol City have lost three of their first five games and are struggling to find momentum.
The last time the two sides met in the league was back in the 2012/13 season where Blues won 1-0 away from home.
Blues have won 50% of all home games against Bristol and will hope to improve on that record come Saturday. Bristol have only won 4 games at St Andrews.
The last time Bristol defeated Blues was back in 1993 – winning 3-0.
Liam Moore and Nathan Baker could both start after their deadline day moves.
Luke Freeman has undergone a lot of work on the training ground to keep up his fitness during the three-match suspension – which has now concluded. Frank Fielding could also enter the fray. There are no new injury worries for Bristol after the international break.
Gary Rowett says he will assess those players returning from international duty before picking his team.
Youngster Demarai Gray is set to feature after an impressive display at the weekend – scoring just 5 minutes after coming on for the England U20’s 5-0 over the Czech Republic.
There are no new injury worries and Stephen Gleeson is set to be fully fit after receiving a knock at MK Dons. Birmingham could be unchanged again.
Rowett: All the international players are back and well and we’ve given one or two some extra time.
These next 7 games are going to test us physically. That’s a big part of the challenge and we’ll learn a lot from it.
Bristol City ran away with League 1 last year and they play a strong game, but it’ll be down to us to play with our strengths.
Bristol: Hamer; Baker, Ayling, Moore; Bryan, Freeman, Pack, Smith, Little; Willbraham, Kodjia
Blues: Kuszczak, Caddis (C), Morrison, Spector, Grounds, Gleeson, Kieftenbeld, Cotterill, Toral, Gray, Donaldson.
Referee Mark Brown will take charge of the game. The East-Yorkshire based official has refereed seven games so far this season, during which he has produced 12 yellow cards, but no reds.
The last Blues game he took charge of was last season away at Bolton Wanderers, which Blues won 1-0.
One to watch
Signed from French Second Division club Angers last month, the 25-year-old forward will necessarily require time to adapt to the English game. However the £2.1million man has already got 2 goals this season, and with his good partnership with Willbraham up top, he is definitely one to watch.
We think Blues will have a comfortable win at 2-0. Comment below your predictions!
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