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Dec 1, 2020 at 7.45pm UK
BirminghamBirmingham City
Hogan (56')
McGree (68'), Leko (77')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Woodrow (71' pen.), Styles (84')
Andersen (58')

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

:Headline: Preview: Birmingham City vs. Barnsley - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Championship clash between Birmingham City and Barnsley, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Birmingham City play host to Barnsley on Tuesday evening looking to end a five-match winless streak in the Championship.

Despite their progression under Valerien Ismael, Barnsley make the trip to St Andrew's having recorded back-to-back defeats in the second tier.

Match preview

While Birmingham are sitting a comfortable distance away from the relegation zone, Aitor Karanka will not feel under any great pressure in the dugout at St Andrew's.

However, despite sitting six points clear of the bottom three, a run of five matches without success and a lack of firepower in attack means that the Spaniard continues to come under scrutiny.

Stalemates with Coventry City, Luton Town and Millwall are respectable results in their own right, but Blues supporters remain uneasy about the team's lack of goals.

Regardless of four other teams scoring fewer, it is widely perceived that Karanka is placing too much emphasis on the defensive side of their game.

Fans will not expect anything different against opponents who sit above their club on goal difference, but the time may come in the future where Karanka needs to adapt to keep himself in a job.

At a time when Birmingham have claimed just three wins all season, Ismael required just four fixtures to match that total after his arrival last month.

Barnsley have 12 points from a possible 21 under his guidance, although their progress has been halted with defeats to Brentford and Blackburn Rovers.

The Tykes were competitive in each encounter, and Ismael may be more concerned that his side's last three goals have all been scored in the 85th minute or later.

Like their hosts, Barnsley are one positive or negative result away from a different spin being put on their future prospects, and the small margins have the potential to lead to an uneventful contest on Tuesday evening.

Birmingham City Championship form: WLLDDD

Barnsley Championship form: WLWWLL

Team News

Ismael could hand a recall to experienced midfielder Matty James, who remained as an unused substitute versus Blackburn.

With Herbie Kane making a positive impressive on his first Barnsley start, Alex Mowatt may drop out of the first XI.

Alen Halilovic could feature in the Birmingham squad, providing that he has received international clearance after signing on a free transfer.

Jeremie Bela will also hope to come into the starting XI after his appearance from the substitutes' bench against Millwall.

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Etheridge; Roberts, Dean, Friend; Colin, Sunjic, San Jose, Pedersen; Leko, Jutkiewicz, Bela

Barnsley possible starting lineup:
Walton; Sollbauer, Helik, Andersen; Brittain, Kane, James, Styles; Chaplin, Woodrow, Frieser

We say: Birmingham City 1-2 Barnsley

There have been few signs that Birmingham are playing well enough to shake off their poor run of form, whereas Barnsley are holding their own even in defeat. With that in mind, we expect the Tykes to outwork the Blues on Tuesday night, possibly inflicting a late defeat on opponents who have previously lost points in the closing stages.

Top betting 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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