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Mar 7, 2020 at 3pm UK
BirminghamBirmingham City
1-3
Reading
Hogan (6')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Miazga (52'), Meite (56'), Pele (87')
/esi/1339/6_G_1_109868/index.html?art_id=391963&game_id=109868&sport_id=1&ESI

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

:Headline: Preview: Birmingham City vs. Reading - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Birmingham City and Reading, including team news and predicted lineups.

Birmingham City will be looking to stretch their unbeaten run of form in the Championship to 11 matches when they welcome Reading to St Andrew's on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues have not lost in the league since New Year's Day, although they remain 15th in the table, two points and one position above Reading ahead of this weekend's contest.


Match preview

Birmingham had a rotten end to 2019 as they lost four of their final five league matches, but the Blues are unbeaten in the Championship since Wigan Athletic beat them on New Year's Day.

Indeed, the Blues have won four and drawn six of their last 10 in England's second tier, including draws in their last four against Brentford, Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall and Queens Park Rangers.

Pep Clotet's side are probably too far away from the playoffs - nine points - to be considered genuine contenders for a top-six finish although stranger things have certainly happened.

Birmingham have also won their last three Championship matches with Reading, including a 3-2 success when they travelled to the Madejski Stadium for the reverse fixture towards the start of December.

Clotet's side will enter this match off the back of a defeat, though, having lost 1-0 at Leicester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Wednesday night.

Reading were also in FA Cup action earlier this week, suffering a 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United after extra time to miss out on the chance to make the quarter-finals of the competition.

The Royals did record a 2-0 win over Barnsley in their last league match, though, and also impressively beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 on their travels in the middle of last month.

As mentioned, Reading are currently 16th in the Championship table, nine points clear of the bottom three.

They are not really in danger of dropping into a relegation battle but are 11 points off the playoffs, indicating that Mark Bowen's side do not have an awful lot to play for as the season heads for its final straight.

Birmingham Championship form: WWDDDD
Birmingham form (all competitions): WDDDDL

Reading Championship form: DLWLLW
Reading form (all competitions): LWLLWL


Team News

Jude Bellingham was not involved against Leicester during the week due to fatigue, but the 16-year-old is set to return to the Birmingham squad for this weekend's contest.

Clotet shuffled his pack for the clash with the Foxes, but there are expected to be changes for this match, with Gary Gardner being tipped to return to the middle of the park.

Scott Hogan and Lukas Jutkiewicz should continue as the front two, but Jeremie Bela, Josh McEachran, Jacques Maghoma and David Stockdale are still on the treatment table.

As for Reading, Chris Gunter, Lucas Boye, Tom McIntyre and Lucas Joao remain on the sidelines.

Bowen's side did not pick up any fresh concerns from their clash with Sheffield United, though, and there are not expected to be many changes from the match against the Blades.

George Puscas was again on the scoresheet against Chris Wilder's side and should again lead the line, although Pele is pushing for a spot in midfield having recovered from injury.

Birmingham possible starting lineup:
Camp; Colin, Roberts, Dean, Pedersen; Bellingham, Gardner, Sunjic, Crowley; Hogan, Jutkiewicz

Reading possible starting lineup:
Rafael; Yiadom, Miazga, Morrison, Obita; Meite, Rinomhota, Swift, Ejaria, Olise; Puscas


We say: Birmingham 1-1 Reading

This match has a draw written all over it. The table suggests that there is not too much between the two teams in terms of quality, and Birmingham have very much been the draw specialists in 2020.


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Championship Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds40229960332775
2West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom402014667382974
3Brentford402091170333769
4Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest401813953401367
5Fulham4019101154441067
6Cardiff CityCardiff40151695751661
7Derby CountyDerby401612125552360
8Swansea CitySwansea401415115047357
9Preston North EndPreston40169155250257
10Blackburn RoversBlackburn401511145550556
11Millwall401317104744356
12Bristol City401510155359-655
13Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds401410164954-552
14Wigan AthleticWigan401311164550-550
15Queens Park RangersQPR40148185966-750
16Reading401310174848049
17Birmingham CityBirmingham401213155163-1249
18Charlton AthleticCharlton401210184654-846
19Hull City40129195468-1445
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield40129194963-1445
21Middlesbrough401014164052-1244
22Stoke CityStoke40127215061-1143
23Barnsley401011194562-1741
24Luton TownLuton40117224673-2740
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool32282270254586
2Manchester CityMan City32213881334866
3Leicester CityLeicester32167960312955
4Chelsea321661057441354
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd321410851312052
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves321313645341152
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd32121193332147
8Arsenal32111384741646
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs32129115144745
10Burnley32136133645-945
11Everton32128124047-744
12Crystal Palace32119122837-942
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle32119123343-1042
14Southampton32124164155-1440
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton32712133444-1033
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham3286183856-1830
17Watford32610162949-2028
18Aston Villa3276193660-2427
19Bournemouth3276193054-2427
20Norwich CityNorwich3256212560-3521
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