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Preview: Blues v WBA

Our full match preview ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship fixture between Blues and West Bromwich Albion at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium (12.30pm kick-off).

Pep Clotet asked the uncharacteristic performance of his side on Wednesday against QPR...
"With the football we play we need energy. In the first-half I think we played a good game, we pressed high in the build-up, they had a lot of problems, we never suffered. The only chance they had was to put a ball in behind our defence and we were defending and coping with that very well. I think the goal changed the game and after that their game-plan was perfect, they were just waiting and used a mistake to break. Then you need a lot of energy and you need to do everything quick and well but if your energy levels are not there it’s very difficult to unlock defences sitting and defending their box."

Pep Clotet on how the focus is now on the West Brom game...
"It's an opportunity for us to bounce back from a tough game at home and that's all of our focus. At the same time, it's a derby and you know anything can happen. We understand we are playing a really good team who are making a big difference and doing very well at the moment. But we need to make sure that we put everything into it. We need to make sure we correct our mistakes and move forward and bounce back. We need to do that bit extra in every department to make sure that we maximise our chances. We are playing a really good team, but that team has some weaknesses as well and we need to try to exploit them."

Pep Clotet asked if he thought West Brom were the best side in the Championship...
"Yes, I think the gap there between Leeds and West Brom and the rest is because of something. West Brom has had really good recruitment, has had an organisation that they thought about defending well first, being solid in defence at the beginning of the league and then slowly building up the offensive which has made them very, very complete. It’s a team that I don’t think has a ceiling yet, so there’s more to come. It looks like a team that is prepared to do the next step in the Premier League."

Pep Clotet on what he had made of West Brom's season so far...
"I really like them. I like them going forward and their organisation, their use of the space, the way they lock spaces for the opposition, the way they press and the way they connect to each other. For me they will grow and grow and be better the more the games come."

Pep Clotet on how much he personally enjoyed derby fixtures...
"I really look forward to it because here in Birmingham we have the chance to have more than one derby. With the atmosphere and the build-up, it feels something more than a normal game. If you win, obviously you enjoy it more."

Blues team news...
Jeremie Bela joined the Blues injury list on Wednesday after suffering a tight groin during the loss to QPR. Marc Roberts (ankle), Jake Clarke-Salter (shoulder), Dan Crowley (hamstring) and Maikel Kieftenbeld (knee) remain sidelined.

West Brom team news...
Full-back Kieran Gibbs (hamstring) is the only Baggies player definitely missing through injury.

Last five meetings between Blues and West Brom...
Championship 29 Mar 2019 West Brom 3 Blues 2
Championship 14 Sep 2018 Blues 1 West Brom 1
FA Cup 24 Jan 2015 Blues 1 West Brom 2
Premier League 05 Mar 2011 Blues 1 West Brom 3
Premier League 18 Sep 2010 West Brom 3 Blues 1

Total meetings between Blues and West Brom...
Blues wins: 35
Draws: 38
WBA wins 58

Form guide...
Blues: DDDWL
West Brom: WWWWD

Line-ups last league game...
Blues (4-2-3-1) v QPR: Trueman; Colin, Dean, Harding, Pedersen; Sunjic, McEachran; Maghoma, Bellingham (Montero 64), Bela (Bailey 53); Gimenez (Jutkiewicz 53).
Subs (not used): Bajrami, Davis, G Gardner, Camp.

Wigan Athletic v West Brom (4-2-3-1): Johnstone, Ferguson (Furlong 60), Bartley, Ajayi, Townsend; Livermore, Sawyers; Phillips (Pereira 60), Krovinović, Edwards; Austin (Robson-Kanu 60).
Subs (not used): Bond, Hegazi, Barry, Diangana.

BluesTV...
BluesTV will be streaming the match live to International Subscribers. Those in the Great Britain and Ireland can get exclusive audio commentary with Jonathan Bell and former Blues forward Dele Adebola.. For more details about BluesTV, click here.

Match officials...
Darren England will take charge of Saturday's game. So far this season the South Yorkshire-based official has refereed 15 games, where he has produced a total of 32 yellow cards, and no reds, and awarded two penalties. The last Blues game he refereed was our Sky Bet Championship home fixture against Blackburn Rovers in October. Blues won that game 1-0 and there were four players cautioned in total; including Harlee Dean and David Davis for the hosts. He has refereed five Blues game to date, one of which we have won, two we have drawn and two we have lost. The last West Brom game that he refereed was their Sky Bet Championship away fixture at Nottingham Forest in August. The Baggies won that game 2-1 and West Brom midfielder Romaine Sawyers was the only player from either side to be cautioned. He has refereed four West Brom games to date, with The Baggies winning two and drawing two of them. Mr England will be assisted on Saturday by James Mainwaring and Shaun Hudson, with Jeremy Simpson acting as the fourth official.

Tickets...
This is a Grade A fixture and tickets are on general sale. For full pricing and purchasing information, please click here.

Supporter message...
The Club urges all supporters to be responsible in their behaviour and actions. Birmingham City knows that the overwhelming majority of our supporters do not indulge in anti-social activities and are passionate about the players and the Club. We appreciate this. We adopt a zero-tolerance stance on anti-social behaviour and spectator misconduct. This includes - amongst other things - drunkenness, throwing of missiles and use and carrying of pyrotechnics (flares, smoke bombs), racist and/or homophobic chanting. Pitch encroachment is forbidden and against the law. Please DO NOT encroach onto the pitch. Any person found to be encroaching on the pitch will automatically be served with a banning order - regardless of the circumstances. It is important that bottles, coins, flares and other items not thrown at our matches. Again, we would like to thank the overwhelming majority of supporters for their backing and their understanding.

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