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Birmingham logo
Championship | Gameweek 42
Apr 10, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
St. Andrew's Stadium
Cardiff City logo

0 - 1

Bielik (54')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Bowler (65')
Ng (47'), Bowler (58'), Ralls (73')

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

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Championship clash between Birmingham City and Cardiff City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With chances running out to preserve their second-tier status, Birmingham City will play host to Cardiff City at St Andrew's @ Knighthead Park on Wednesday night in the Championship.

Blues are staring League One football in the face following Saturday's loss at Leicester City, whilst the Bluebirds' campaign has stalled as they head towards a mid-table finish.

Match preview

Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett reacts on April 6, 2024© Reuters

For the third time in as many away matches, Birmingham conceded a late goal which sentenced them to defeat on Saturday afternoon, when Stephy Mavididi headed in an 87th-minute winner for Leicester, meaning that Blues have now lost seven of their last nine contests in the Championship.

Following his match-winning moment versus Preston North End on Easter Monday, Jay Stansfield managed to get the visitors level at the King Power Stadium after blocking a casual Mads Hermansen clearance, but the Second City club once again failed to earn anything on the road.

Since the requirement of Tony Mowbray to step down from his managerial duties at Birmingham due to a medical diagnosis, Wednesday's hosts have collected just four points in nine Championship matches, earning three points in as many games under the interim stewardship of Gary Rowett since the end of March.

A defeat to Enzo Maresca's table toppers was hardly surprising for Blues on Saturday, but the result had massive ramifications on the relegation picture, with Birmingham dropping into the bottom three for the first time this season after both Plymouth Argyle and Huddersfield Town claimed maximum points over the weekend.

As competitive as this season's relegation battle is set to be, the Championship will always give strugglers opportunities to avoid an unwanted fate, with Birmingham now facing back-to-back home matches versus Cardiff and Coventry City in the space of four days at St Andrews, where Rowett's troops have collected 30 of their 42 league points.

Cardiff City manager Erol Bulut on February 13, 2024© Reuters

Cardiff suffered their third loss in the last four Championship fixtures on Saturday afternoon, when Liam Rosenior's playoff-chasing Hull City visited South Wales and escaped back to Humberside with all three points, putting pressure on the likes of Coventry and Norwich City in the top-six race.

The Tigers found themselves two goals ahead at the Cardiff City Stadium at half time courtesy of a brilliant brace from Liverpool loanee Fabio Carvalho, and although the Bluebirds managed to reduce the deficit via Karlan Grant's sixth of the league campaign, Hull made sure of maximum points soon after when Jaden Philogene found the net.

After earning just three points from their most-recent quartet of Championship contests, Cardiff's hopes of making a late charge for the playoffs are dead and buried - Wednesday's visitors to the Second City sit 11th in the league table, 11 points behind David Wagner's Norwich in sixth.

Although results during the final five matches of the season are extremely unlikely to have a bearing on the Bluebirds' divisional status next term, head coach Erol Bulut will be desperate for his side to finish the campaign strongly, with the 49-year-old's contract in South Wales set to expire in the summer.

Cardiff have already tasted success in the Second City this season - albeit in the second round of the EFL Cup during August - when goals from Rubin Colwill, Ryan Wintle and Kion Etete secured a 3-1 success at St Andrew's, handing John Eustace's Birmingham their maiden defeat of the 2023-24 campaign.

Birmingham City Championship form:

Cardiff City Championship form:

Team News

Birmingham City players look dejected on November 11, 2023© Reuters

In desperate need of their battling characters as the relegation fight intensifies, Birmingham remain without the services of Lukas Jutkiewicz and Marc Roberts due to knee and calf issues respectively.

Oliver Burke is also a doubt to feature again this season, whilst the likes of Andre Dozzell and Keshi Anderson are often missing out on matchday squads due to Blues' surplus of options in advanced-midfield positions.

Rowett subbed off Juninho Bacuna, Krystian Bielik and Koji Miyoshi after 60 minutes on the weekend due to fatigue, but the trio are expected to retain their spots in the starting XI for Wednesday night.

Cardiff are expected to be unable to call upon the talents of Manchester City loanee Josh Wilson-Esbrand, who suffered a hamstring injury during his cameo against Hull on the weekend.

The left-back is set to join midfielder Wintle in the medical room, meaning that Manolis Siopis and Joe Ralls should begin in the engine room once again.

Despite his mistake leading to Hull's third goal on Saturday, Nat Phillips will keep his place in the Bluebirds' team alongside Dimitrios Goutas, as fellow centre-back Mark McGuinness continues to recover from a hamstring strain.

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Ruddy; Laird, Aiwu, Sanderson, Buchanan; Paik, Bielik; Miyoshi, James, Bacuna; Stansfield

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Horvath; Ng, Phillips, Goutas, Collins; Siopis, Ralls, Bowler, Ramsey, Grant; Diedhiou

SM words green background

We say: Birmingham City 1-0 Cardiff City

Despite the heartbreaking nature of the defeat at Leicester, there were plenty of positives to take from the performance for Birmingham, who simply need to pick up points at St Andrew's over the next week.

Cardiff's season is all but over, and we can envisage the visitors producing another limp performance on Wednesday night to continue their poor run of form.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca reacts on March 17, 2024
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Tables header RHS
CLeicester CityLeicester463141189414897
3Leeds UnitedLeeds462791081433890
5West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom4621121370472375
6Norwich CityNorwich4621101579641573
7Hull City461913146860870
9Coventry CityCoventry4617131670591164
10Preston North EndPreston46189195667-1163
11Bristol City461711185351262
12Cardiff CityCardiff46195225370-1762
14Swansea CitySwansea461512195965-657
17Stoke CityStoke461511204960-1156
18Queens Park RangersQPR461511204758-1156
19Blackburn RoversBlackburn461411216074-1453
20Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds46158234468-2453
21Plymouth ArgylePlymouth461312215970-1151
RBirmingham CityBirmingham461311225065-1550
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield46918194877-2945
RRotherham UnitedRotherham46512293789-5227

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