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Match Previews

Match preview: Birmingham (A)

14 January 2017

Nottingham Forest travel to Birmingham City for the Sky Bet Championship clash on Saturday 14 January (kick-off 3pm).


Nottingham Forest travel to St. Andrew's to take on Birmingham City aiming to get back on track in the Sky Bet Championship. The Emirates FA Cup failed to prove a welcome distraction for The Reds, losing 2-0 at Wigan to make it six defeats in the last seven games and Philippe Montanier's men will be targeting a result from their trip to the West Midlands.

Birmingham haven't had much to cheer about in recent weeks either, with one win in the last eight games and The Blues are yet to win under new manager Gianfranco Zola in his five games in charge. Birmingham claimed a credible 1-1 draw with Newcastle in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday and will be hoping to build on that for the visit of The Reds.


Matt Mills and Vladimir Stojkovic will be pushing for recalls after returning to the matchday squad for the defeat at Wigan last week, and Dani Pinillos is also edging nearer to a return following a knee injury.
 
Birmingham welcome new signing Craig Gardner into their squad with the central midfielder returning to St. Andrew's on loan from West Brom this week. Greg Stewart has picked up a knee injury and is likely to be out for around two weeks, while defender Jonathan Spector could play after coming off injured against Newcastle.


Nottingham Forest

Derby County (A) - Lost 3-0
Preston (H) - Drew 1-1
Wolves (H) - Lost 2-0
Huddersfield (A) - Lost 2-1
Newcastle (A) - Lost 3-1
Barnsley (H) - Lost 1-0
Wigan (A - FA Cup) - Lost 2-0

Birmingham City

Ipswich (H) - Won 2-1
Brighton (H) - Lost 2-1
Derby (A) - Lost 1-0
Barnsley (A) - Drew 2-2
Brentford (H) - Lost 3-1
Newcastle (H - FA Cup) - Drew 1-1



Lukas Jutkiewicz

Powerful striker Lukas Jutkiewicz is Birmingham's danger man and is The Blues' top scorer this season with nine goals in all competitions.

Starting his career at Swindon Town, the 27-year-old has played for a handful of clubs in England and signed for City in the summer on loan for Burnley, making the move permanent at the start of the month.

The 6ft 1ins target man is the focal point of Birmingham's attack and has struck four goals in his last five games, including the equaliser against Newcastle in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.


Birmingham manager Gianfranco Zola was pleased with the performance against Newcastle in the Emirates FA Cup last weekend. 

He said: "It was the best we have played for consistency. Apart from the first five, 10 minutes, when we were a little bit edgy. There was some nervousness on the pitch, but this is absolutely normal. These are the moments when you have to dig in and get the best out of yourself and react to the situation - which we did.

"A good performance came. We played consistency well. The week before and previously, there were spells, but not as continuous. Now it’s been a month we have been working, the players are starting more to understand what we are trying to do.

"The more we work with the players the more they get used to what we want, the more they get confidence. They begin to find automatically these things. Obviously this will improve the quality of the football we can do."

Tickets are on general sale and are priced as follows:

Adults - £25
Seniors (65 years of age and above) - £20
Students (with a valid NUS card on the day) - £20
13-18 years of age - £15
Under 13s (must be accompanied by an adult) - £10

Tickets can be purchased in-person at the ticket office, online at tickets.nottinghamforest.co.uk or by calling 0115 982 4388.

Live audio commentary of the game will be available on Forest Player HD from 2pm while there will also be live text commentary available on the Forest Wall and on the club's Twitter page from 2.30pm. Forest Player HD will also have extended match highlights from 12pm on Sunday, as well as all the reaction from the Forest camp after the game.

To win:

Birmingham City - 1/1
Nottingham Forest - 11/4
Draw - 12/5

To score first:

Lukas Jutkiewicz - 9/2
Che Adams - 11/2
Britt Assombalonga - 9/2
Nicklas Bendtner - 7/1

Fixtures to be played at 3pm on Saturday unless otherwise stated.

Leeds v Derby (kick-off 7.45pm, Friday)
Bristol City v Cardiff (kick-off 12pm)
Brentford v Newcastle
Burton v Wigan
Fulham v Barnsley
Ipswich v Blackburn
Preston v Brighton
Rotherham v Norwich
Sheffield Wednesday v Huddersfield
Wolves v Aston Villa (kick-off 5.30pm)

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