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Preview: Blues v Swansea City

Blues welcome Swansea City to St. Andrew's in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon.

The fixture comes shortly after the Club announced the return of 'kids for a quid', with the added filler of the stadium's capacity being increased to approximately 19,000 for the final home game of October after a well-earned point was picked up away to Huddersfield Town during the week.

This result brought a sticky run of results to an end and had there been a touch more finesse in front of goal it could have been more, as the team were backed by over 1,000 travelling supporters from a fanbase that continues to be one of the best in the land.

Back on home soil, they play host to a Swansea outfit that come into this clash on the back of successive wins, including a comeback victory over promotion pushing West Bromwich Albion on the same night Blues were playing in West Yorkshire.

Although, if the visitors are to continue their winning run they will need to score, something that they have failed to do on three of their last four trips to B9. And overall history also leans in the favour of Birmingham City, with tomorrow's home side having won 19, to Swansea's 10, of the 39 previous meetings.

THE OPPOSITION:

A new-look Swansea City make the near-300 mile round trip to the Second City as they look to win three consecutive fixtures for the first time since February of this year. And after picking up just one maximum in their opening eight Championship matches, the Swans have won three of their last five as they begin to hit their stride under the guidance of Russell Martin.

Arriving just six days before the start of the 2021/22 season, the former Milton Keynes Don boss inherited a dressing room that had made the play-off final three months previous. However, by the end of the transfer window, the new head coach had seen the team's remaining significant goal source, Jamal Lowe, depart as joint topscorer Andre Ayew had done earlier in the summer.

The blow of their departures has been softened by the seven-goal return to date of Joel Piroe who signed from PSV Eindhoven in July. He was joined by free transfer Jamie Paterson on the scoresheet in last Sunday's emphatic South Wales derby win over Cardiff City and both found the net in a 2-1 success versus West Brom live on Sky during the week.

Although, a change of personnel at the other end has perhaps had the most telling impact in the Swans' recent change of fortune. Ben Hamer was brought into the starting XI after a quintet of matches and has recorded five clean sheets out of eight, with just a single defeat to recently relegated Fulham during this period.

LAST TIME OUT:

Blues collected their first point of the month as they went up against an in-form Huddersfield side. A well-disciplined showing from Bowyer's players was enough to end a run of defeats and on another day could have delivered a maximum. Riley McGree had two close attempts in the first period before Gary Gardner's second-half header appeared to be dropping in, only for it to land wide. Defensively, Matija Sarkic recorded a sixth clean sheet of the campaign, with some fine stops and the woodwork helping to keep the Terriers at bay.

Swansea made it back to back wins in the second tier as they overcame West Brom at the Swansea.com Stadium. Although the Swans made the worst possible start as Karlan Grant scored inside a minute to leave the hosts with work to do. But two strikes after the break, from Piroe and Patterson, turned the game on its head to continue the fine form of Martin's men.

WE MEET AGAIN:

Blues 1-0, Friday 02 April 2021

Blues made the perfect start to their Easter weekend with a last-gasp win on Good Friday. It had appeared that Birmingham's chance for victory had passed when Lukas Jutkiewicz' first-half penalty was saved by Freddie Woodman. However, a further chance presented itself from the spot in added time, with Scott Hogan dramatically converting in the 91st minute to make it successive home wins.

BLUES TEAM NEWS:

Both Maxime Colin (Achilles) and Jeremie Bela (ankle) remain sidelined.

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

Blues wins: 19

Draws: 10

Swansea City wins: 10

LAST FIVE MEETINGS:

Championship 02 Apr 2021: Blues 1-0 Swansea City

Championship 19 Sep 2020: Swansea City 0-0 Blues

Championship 09 Jul 2020: Blues 1-3 Swansea

Championship 25 Aug 2019: Swansea City 3-0 Blues

Championship 29 Jan 2019: Swansea City 3-3 Blues

BLUESTV:

International subscribers will be able to watch our game against Swansea City on BluesTV. There is no pay-per-view for this fixture. Further details are available here

MATCH OFFICIALS:

Referee: Oliver Langford

Assistant Referee: Mark Russell and George Byrne

Fourth Official: Matthew Donohue

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