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Preview: Sheffield Wednesday v Blues

It's only the same importance as Huddersfield had when it comes to the football and the focus of the players.

Pep Clotet.

Our full match preview ahead of tonight's Sky Bet Championship fixture between Sheffield Wednesday and Blues at Hillsborough (7.45pm kick-off).

Pep Clotet on facing Sheffield Wednesday...
"It is a big game and there are three points at play, but we're very confident in our own strengths and want to minimise our weaknesses and make sure that we compete for those three points. Lately we are very confident about our football and we have been growing from the beginning a lot. We have the team in a good position in the league."

Pep Clotet asked about coming up against his former colleague Garry Monk...
"For me it's very simple, it's just a simple football game.We have already played a lot of games in the Championship and we know they are very difficult and now it's one more away from home. We need to prepare to make sure we are mature, that we are focused, that we understand the challenge. We want to understand their weaknesses and their strengths and we combine it with our weaknesses and our strengths and try to fight for the three points. It's only the same importance as Huddersfield had when it comes to the football and the focus of the players. Nothing else matters. It's about a squad of players against a squad of players and 11 will start the game and we're playing for three points."

Pep Clotet asked if the large Hillsborough pitch would suit his players’ abilities...
"To play football it's about two things. Obviously it's about the skill, but when it comes to the tactical side of the game it's about space. Space gives you time in football and the more space you have the less skill you need to do things. A bigger pitch helps the better footballing side and the quicker side. That's the rule of thumb but in any particular game anything can happen."

Pep Clotet on what he expects from Sheffield Wednesday...
"Sheffield Wednesday are a very solid team. At home they are they play with high pressure and try to force you into a long game. They have a lot of physicality and they have quick attacks and the use of the set-plays to try and break you down. They have a lot of very good talent as well in the middle of the park and I think Fletcher is a dominant striker for them. It's a very competitive team, they have experience in the league and it is a team that has been competing for the play-offs for the last few years and it is always a very difficult place to go."

Blues team news...
Midfielder Gary Gardner is back in training after recovering from his knee injury, but has not travelled with the squad tonight. Maikel Kieftenbeld (knee) remains sidelined. Captain Harlee Dean serves out the final game of his three-match ban after his sending off at Cardiff.

Sheff Wed team news...
Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood will miss the game because of a minor shoulder injury and will be replaced by Cameron Dawson. Liam Palmer is unavailable because of suspension after receiving a red card in Wednesday's last game at West Brom.

Last five meetings between Sheff Wed and Blues...
Championship 01 Jan 2019 Sheff Wed 1 Blues 1
Championship 27 Oct 2018 Blues 3 Sheff Wed 1
Championship 03 Feb 2018 Sheff Wed 1 Blues 3
Championship 27 Sep 2017 Blues 1 Sheff Wed 0
Championship 10 Feb 2017 Sheff Wed 3 Blues 0

Total meetings between Sheff Wed and Blues...
Sheff Wed wins: 34
Draws: 25
Blues wins: 38

Form guide...
Sheff Wed: WDLDL
Blues: WWLLD

Line-ups last league game...
West Brom v Sheff Wed (4-1-4-1): Westwood, Palmer (S/O 90), Iorfa, Börner, Fox, Harris (Reach 58), Lee (Luongo 70), Hutchinson (Nuhiu 89), Bannan, Murphy, Fletcher.
Subs (not used): Lees, Odubajo, Dawson, Forestieri.

Huddersfield Town v Blues (4-2-3-1): Trueman, Colin, Pedersen, Roberts, Clarke-Salter, Sunjic, Bellingham (McEachran 80), Maghoma (Montero 63), Crowley, Bela (Gimenez 64), Jutkiewicz.
Subs (not used): Camp, Harding, Villalba, Davis.

BluesTV...
You can watch this game live on BluesTV for just £10. Click here for more details.International Blues subscribers will be able to watch this match as part of their existing package. Commentary will be provided by Colin Tattum and Jonathan Bell. For more details about BluesTV, click here.

Match officials...
Peter Bankes will take charge of tonight's game. So far this season the Merseyside-based official has refereed nine games, where he has produced a total of 43 yellow cards, one red, and awarded two penalties. The last Blues game he refereed was our Sky Bet Championship home fixture against Blackburn Rovers in February 2019. That match ended in a 2-2 draw and there were two Rovers players cautioned, but none for Blues. He has refereed 13 Blues game to date, two of which we have won, six we have drawn and five we have lost. The last Wednesday game he refereed was their Sky Bet Championship fixture against local rivals Sheffield United in March 2019. That match ended all square at 0-0 and surprisingly no players from either side were cautioned. He has refereed 11 Sheffield Wednesday games to date, with the Yorkshire side winning three of them, drawing five and losing three. Mr Bankes will be assisted on Wednesday by Scott Ledger and Nick Hopton, with Ollie Yates acting as the fourth official.

Tickets...
As of Tuesday 26 November, Blues had sold 870 tickets out of our allocation of 2,078 tickets. Birmingham City supporters will be able to pay on the day at Sheffield Wednesday. Supporters can only pay by cash at the turnstiles. There will be no price increase and all age bands except for Under-5s will be available. All Under-5s will have to pay the Under-11 rate. For prices, 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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