MX23RW : Sunday, February 23 13:06:27| >> :600:799691:799691:
Feb 15, 2020 at 3pm UK at ​St. Andrew's Stadium
Attendance: 20,379
BirminghamBirmingham City
FT(HT: 1-1)
Pinnock (17')

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

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday's Championship fixture between Birmingham City and Brentford.

Brentford make the trip to St Andrew's to face Birmingham City on Saturday knowing that victory could be enough to take the club into second place in the Championship standings.

Meanwhile, the Blues head into the contest in the West Midlands having recorded three successive wins - a run which has moved Pep Clotet's side clear of a relegation battle.

Match preview

Brentford boss Thomas Frank on February 8, 2020© Reuters

Having talked up his side's chances of getting the better of out-of-form Leeds United on Tuesday night, Thomas Frank would have been frustrated that his Brentford side could only claim a share of the spoils.

However, when looking at the bigger picture, the Bees boss will be content with having prevented the second-placed side from extending their advantage at a time when the clubs around them are struggling for consistency.

Despite only recording eight points from their last five matches, Brentford sit in fourth spot, two points adrift of Leeds and five clear of eighth position.

Aware that more winnable fixtures - on paper - are to come, Frank will feel that his team are in an excellent position ahead of the next period of games, although there will be an acknowledgement that they cannot overly rely on their free-scoring front three.

Just two clean sheets have been kept in their last 10 outings in the league - something which must improve if Brentford are to maximise their potential over the coming months.

At the turn of the year, Birmingham would have been regarded as weak opponents after just one triumph in a dozen second-tier fixtures from the start of November to New Year's Day.

That is no longer the case, however, with Clotet witnessing his team put together a nine-match unbeaten streak in all competitions, which includes 14 points being registered from their most recent six Championship games.

While wins over Nottingham Forest and Bristol City stand out, Clotet and his players deserve huge credit for the run of form as a whole, with Blues also reaching the FA Cup fifth round.

Ten points adrift of the top six, the playoffs may just be out of reach, although Clotet will stress to his team that two or three more victories in succession will heap the pressure on the teams above them.

Birmingham City Championship form: WDDWWW
Birmingham City form (all competitions): DDWDWW

Brentford Championship form: WDLWWD
Brentford form (all competitions): DLLWWD

Team News

Birmingham boss Pep Clotet on February 1, 2020© Reuters

Having witnessed his team grind out a win at Barnsley, Clotet could keep changes down to a minimum.

Jeremie Bela is in contention to be named on the left flank in place of Jefferson Montero, who may drop back down to the substitutes' bench.

Despite the step up in opposition, Scott Hogan and Lukas Jutkiewicz are expected to form a two-match attack.

Like their hosts, Brentford are unlikely to make many alterations to their starting lineup for the game at St Andrew's.

While Tarique Fosu-Henry and Shandon Baptiste are both pushing for their first starts since leaving Oxford United in January, the pair should stay among the replacements.

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Camp; Colin, Clarke-Salter, Roberts, Pedersen; Bellingham, Gardner, Sunjic, Bela; Hogan, Jutkiewicz

Brentford possible starting lineup:
Martin; Dalsgaard, Pinnock, Jeanvier, Henry; Jensen, Norgaard, Dasilva; Mbeumo, Watkins, Benrahma

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We say: Birmingham City 1-2 Brentford

While Birmingham are the form team heading into this game, we cannot back against Brentford, who have shown numerous times this season that they respond well to disappointing results. However, the Bees will have to play to their best to out-work their hosts.

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

Birmingham City
Birmingham City
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Birmingham boss Pep Clotet on February 1, 2020
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