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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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06 April 2021 Venue Brentford Community Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Brentford vs Birmingham City

All the build-up to tonight's game at the Brentford Community Stadium

6 April 2021

Birmingham City, with a few familiar faces in their ranks, make the trip to TW8 this evening for our latest Sky Bet Championship action. Blues have eased away from the relegation places in recent weeks but still need to keep checking over their shoulder at those below them while we need the points at the other end of the table. Get all the build-up to tonight's game below.

THE OPPOSITION

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Lee Bowyer's appointment last month has breathed fresh life into a Birmingham City side that appeared to be sliding towards the Sky Bet Championship trap door under former boss Aitor Karanka. 

A 3-0 defeat at home to Bristol City on 13 March spelled the end of Karanka's tenure at St Andrew's. Under the former Boro boss, Blues had picked up just 13 points from their previous 19 games and sat three points above the drop zone. Three games into his time in charge, Bowyer is almost halfway to the points tally from Karanka's previous 19 following home wins over Reading and Swansea City and has doubled their cushion to the bottom three.

Blues have been pretty good travellers this season, despite winning only one of their last seven on the road. They've taken 23 points from their 19 away games, five more points than they've earned at St Andrew's. They've scored just 14 away goals this campaign, the fourth-fewest in the division, but their 18 conceded is bettered only by Watford (15).

Bowyer has gone back to basics during his time in charge, reverting principally to a 4-4-2 with Lukas Jutkiewicz partnership Scott Hogan (pictured above) up top. Jutkiewicz netted his 50th Blues goal in the win over Reading in Bowyer's first game in charge while Hogan grabbed the 90th minute winner at home to Swansea City on Good Friday.  

THE MANAGER

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Lee Bowyer made more than 600 appearances in English football and is now making his name on the touchline. Born in Canning Town, London, he joined Charlton as a schoolboy. He went on to play for Leeds United, West Ham and Newcastle. He was also capped by England in 2002 under Sven Goran Eriksson, playing against Portugal in his only appearance.

At his peak, he played a key role in Leeds' Champions League campaign in 2001, scoring goals against AC Milan, Barcelona and Anderlecht. At his worst, he was involved in a fight with Magpies teammate Kieron Dyer on the pitch against Aston Villa in 2005.

Spells at Birmingham City led to a final bow at Ipswich Town, where he retired in 2012. Three years later, Bowyer was back coaching at Watford before joining the youth setup at Charlton. In 2017, he was named Assistant Manager under Karl Robinson, eventually going on to take the top job in March 2018. After almost exactly three-years in charge, Bowyer left The Valley to head to St Andrew's last month. 

TEAM NEWS

Henrik Dalsgaard is being assessed game-by-game for a knee injury while Rico Henry (hamstring), Josh Dasilva (hip), Shandon Baptiste (knee), and Luka Racic (back) remain out.

Lee Bowyer could have a fully-fit squad at his disposal with Ivan Sanchez (hernia) back in contention. Sam Cosgrave picked up a knock on Friday night but trained yesterday while Scott Hogan continues to manage a back issue. 

PRE-MATCH VIEWS

🆚 Birmingham Live's Brian Dick previews Blues

⚖ Dean Whitestone will be the man in charge tonight

MEMORABLE MATCH

HOW TO FOLLOW

Tonight's game is only available on iFollow Brentford. 

Frozen Season Ticket and Premium Seat Holders have VIP access to this game, meaning you can watch by simply logging in to your iFollow account.

With all profit going to us, match passes are also available for only £10 each (£7 International fans).

BUY A MATCH PASS NOW

Enjoy all the pre-match build-up from 6pm with Stu Wakeford, Marcus Gayle, and Karleigh Osborne on The Warm Up live. Natalie Sawyer and Jonathan Douglas join the boys to talk team news and look forward to tonight's action. 

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL

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Match Reports

Brentford 0 Birmingham City 0

No goals as points shared in West London

6 April 2021

Brentford drew for the fourth consecutive match – this time 0-0 against Birmingham City. The Bees probably the better of the contest and Birmingham’s Neil Etheridge was the busier goalkeeper, but they could not find a way through. They had chances in both halves but failed to take them and had to settle for a point, as they did in recent matches with Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town.

The match was an open and entertaining one for long periods, albeit Birmingham defended deeper in the second half to hold on to their point. The visitors looked to throw the ball, literally, in to the penalty area, while The Bees exploited space on the flanks and worked passes through the middle when they could. But they could not find a winning goal.

Birmingham started with an attacking mindset. They had two strikers and an attacking midfield player close to them and looked to get men up in support. They used the long throw of Marc Roberts to get men in to the penalty area and looked to condense the game when they did not have the ball.

The visitors came closes to a goal in the opening quarter of the contest and it came from a quick break. Scott Hogan beat the offside trap, staying inside his own half until the ball was played, and got away on the left. He cut back and played a ball across the penalty area. Gary Gardner arrived and shot from a tight angle, hitting the post. The ball was recycled and played low for Hogan, but his shot was blocked.

Harlee Dean also shot over for the visitors and a quick throw released Maxime Colin on the right to cross for Lukas Jutkiewicz. The Birmingham striker got a head to it inside the penalty area but missed the target. Brentford were being forced to defend a lot of high balls but did so well in the first half. Ethan Pinnock stood firm and headed countless crosses away to protect David Raya.

At the other end utilised Birmingham’s system against them, playing the ball in to space behind the wing backs for Sergi Canós and Bryan Mbeumo to run in to. With the visitors committing men forward, there was often space to play in Birmingham’s half and The Bees created some good chances in the first half. There were other times when the final ball, or pass in the attacking third, wasn’t right, but The Bees posed an attacking threat for much of the opening period.

They had a golden chance from an early corner. Pinnock got to the deep ball, Pontus Jansson fed it on and Christian Nørgaard set up Mathias Jensen, but he lashed over from 14 yards. Ivan Toney met a Canós cross but didn’t get enough power on to it before Mbeumo lashed a free kick in to a defensive wall. Mads Roerslev put the ball back in to the penalty area and Birmingham scrambled it away.

Roerslev was just unable to reach a fizzed cross from Mbeumo soon after before the chance of the half fell to Canós. After some interplay on the left, a Vitaly Janelt pass beat the Birmingham defence and set Canós in behind. He was faced with only Etheridge to beat and lifted the ball over him but watched as it bounced wide of the post.

The best save of the half came when Toney let fly from 20 yards after getting on to a Nørgaard pass. He drilled it high to the left of Etheridge, but the Birmingham goalkeeper kept it out. Canós then delivered a cross for Mbeumo, but his header was blocked. The ball was recycled, and Jensen shot from 22 yards, but Etheridge held on well.

Brentford probably had slightly the better of the first half, but it had been a fairly open game and the second period started in the same way. A Mads Bech Sørensen cross looked set to find Roerslev at the far post, but he was unable to make contact. Canós then bundled through a couple of challenges before trying to find Mbeumo, but Etheridge rushed out to save at his feet.

Alen Halilović curled over for Birmingham but Brentford had taken complete control at the start of the second half. Nørgaard, Jensen and Janelt were seeing a lot of the ball and the game was mostly being played in the Birmingham half. The Bees could have scored when Canós flicked a Nørgaard pass in to the path of Toney, he got between two defenders and lashed a shot towards the top corner, but Etheridge pushed it away.

But the game slowed down as the minutes ticked by. Birmingham were happy to play deeper and kill the momentum in the contest, conceding free kicks and delaying set pieces. The game was mostly being played in the Birmingham half but there were few good chances in the closing stages.

The closest Brentford came to winning the game was when Emiliano Marcondes delivered a cross and Mbeumo met it with a header that he steered towards the top corner, but once again Etheridge got a hand to it, pushing it away. Roerslev shot over for The Bees and Jonathan Leko had a shot blocked at the death for Birmingham but neither team could find the crucial goal.

Brentford: Raya; Roerslev, Jansson, Pinnock, Sørensen; Jensen (sub Marcondes 71 mins), Nørgaard, Janelt (sub Ghoddos 71 mins); Mbeumo (sub Fosu 78 mins), Toney, Canós (sub Forss 86 mins)

Subs (not used): Daniels, Stevens, Bidstrup, Reid, Goode

Birmingham City: Etheridge; Dean, Roberts, Pedersen; Colin, Šunjić, Gardner, McGree; Halilović (Sub Toral 60 mins (sub Harper 71 mins)); Jutkiewicz (sub Cosgrove 90 mins), Hogan (sub Leko 60 mins)

Subs (not used): Prieto, Friend, Bela, San José, Seddon

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