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Preview: Swansea City v Blues

We are in a position that we back ourselves to go there and learn from the games that we've played away this season.

Pep Clotet.

Our full match preview ahead of Sunday's Sky Bet Championship fixture between Swansea City and Blues at the Liberty Stadium (12 noon kick-off).

Pep Clotet on the new strike partnership of Alvaro Gimenez and Lukas Jutkiewicz...
"They both did very well. I was pleased because Alvaro only came a week and a half ago and it's still early and it takes a lot of time to learn about the Club and the team, so it's very promising. But it's a new game on Sunday and they start from scratch and we need to do it again."

Pep Clotet on returning to his former club Swansea, and the opportunity to pick up points...
"We know it's a very difficult game. They were only relegated from the Premier League two seasons ago, so they have that Premier League experience. For me it is very special because I worked there for many years and I still have a lot of friends there. It's a place that I love and a club that I love. They are a team that plays with a lot of confidence, so it is going to be tough. But we need to make sure that we understand the game and we play to our strengths and try to take as much as we can from there. And afterwards I will wish them all the best."

Pep Clotet on why he thinks Swansea have been so successful at home (they are unbeaten in 13 league games) and where he sees the main battles taking place on the pitch...
"Swansea are a team that feel very comfortable at home because they have this culture with the way they play. All the fans buy into it and it gives them extra confidence. It's very important that we try to threaten that comfort as much as possible. We need to be a threat going forward and give them a game. We are in a position that we back ourselves to go there and learn from the games that we've played away this season and see the things we need to improve on to be competitive."

Swansea City Head Coach Steve Cooper's comments ahead of the game...
"We haven’t played brilliantly in the first half of the two home games, and that’s credit to the opposition. We have to be better and overcome that. That’s definitely a challenge for us. I would like to keep more clean sheets, there’s no doubt about that. Birmingham are going to offer certain threats so we want to be good at particular things in games. It’s just that mentality of striving to be better than where we’re at. They’ve (Blues) had a good start in terms of points. It’s going to be very different to QPR in terms of how they play. We’ve got to be a team that can adapt to different situations. They will play a different formation and style.They’re a real threat off set-pieces."

Blues team news...
Winger Jefferson Montero is ineligible to play against his parent club. Maxime Colin (hamstring) will have a late fitness test but could be available after missing the Barnsley game. Jake Clarke-Salter, Kerim Mrabti and Cheick Keita have all returned to training but may need additional time to regain match fitness. Jacques Maghoma (calf) is likely to be back in contention in the near future. Jonathan Grounds (calf) and Maikel Kieftenbeld (knee) remain out.

Swansea team news...
Swansea are expected to be without wingers Nathan Dyer (hamstring) and Aldo Kalulu (ankle) on Sunday. Midfielder Tom Carroll (hip) is unlikely to figure.

Last five meetings between Swansea and Blues…
Championship 29 Jan 2019 Swansea 3 Blues 3
Championship 17 Aug 2018 Blues 0 Swansea 0
FA Cup 25 Jan 2014 Blues 1 Swansea 2
Capital One Cup 25 Sep 2013 Blues 3 Swansea 1
Championship 28 Dec 2008 Blues 0 Swansea 0

Line-ups last game...
Blues (3-1-4-2) v Barnsley: Camp, Harding, Pedersen, Roberts, Jutkiewicz (Bailey, 90), Dean, Villalba (G Gardner, 74), Gimenez (Montero, 79), Davis, Sunjic, Seddon.
Subs (not used): Stockdale, Crowley, C Gardner, Medina.

QPR v Swansea City (4-2-3-1): Woodman, Roberts, van der Hoorn, Rodon, Bidwell, Fulton, Grimes, Ayew, Byers, Celina, Baston.
Subs (not used): Nordfeldt, Routledge, Wilmot, Dhanda.

BluesTV...
Due to broadcasting restrictions, this game can only be broadcast by BluesTV to certain countries. Click here for full details. Commentary with Colin Tattum and Dale Moon is available to all BluesTV subscribers. Please click here to access BluesTV.

Match officials…
Referee Andy Woolmer will take charge of the game. So far this season, the Northamptonshire-based official has refereed two games where he has produced a total of five yellow cards and no reds. The last Blues game he refereed was our Championship away game at Sheffield Wednesday in January 2019. That match ended in a 1-1 draw and there were four players booked; including Jota, Michael Morrison and Craig Gardner for the visitors. In total he has refereed eight Blues matches during his career, one of which we have won, three we have drawn and four we have lost. The last Swansea game he took charge of was their 3-1 home win against Middlesbrough in April.There were two players cautioned in that match; including Matt Grimes for the hosts. He has refereed a total of eight Swansea games, of which the Swans have won five, drawn one and lost two. Mr Woolmer will be assisted on Sunday by Nigel Lugg and Akil Howson, with Antony Coggins acting as the fourth official.

Tickets…
Tickets for this game went off sale to Blues fans at 11am today (Friday) and Swansea have confirmed that they will not be selling tickets on Sunday to Blues fans.

Official Train App Partner…
Travel Now Pay Later with Blues Official Train App Partner, TrainAI. Not only that, but TrainAI rail journeys are up to 80% cheaper than other train line apps. Download the android app and book your journey here.

Message to supporters...
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 and never take it for granted. 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, under any circumstances. Think of the damage you may be doing to your Club and also the punishment you may incur personally. 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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