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Match Previews

Match Preview: Birmingham City vs Brentford

Bees face Blues at St Andrews this weekend

28 December 2018

The last game of 2018 pits Brentford against Birmingham City tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock.

The Opposition

City have steadily climbed the table after a shaky start to the 2018/19 campaign, which didn't see them collect three points until 22 September. They've won two of their last three games, taking them to seventh in the table and now just two points away from a Play-Off place. 

Their home form has been key to keeping them in check, having lost once in twelve games there this season. Home goal difference is also eight better than their away tally, thanks to 21 scored and only 12 conceded. Che Adams and Lukas Jutkiewicz are the top marksmen in the side, the former netting 11 with Jutkiewicz one behind him.

The squad also includes the three former Brentford men, who all moved to the West Midlands in August 2017. Maxime Colin hasn't missed a game all season, neither has Harlee Dean. Jota has had a mixed start to the year, playing 20 times, including twice off the bench, scoring just once.

Over the summer, the Club said goodbye to both Diego Fabbrini and Nicolai Brock-Madsen on free transfers. Goalkeeper David Stockdale also left to join Wycombe Wanderers on loan in September, Jonathan Grounds (Bolton Wanderers) and Cheikh Ndoye (Angers SCO) also leaving on temporary deals.

Goalkeeper Lee Camp joined the side on a free from Cardiff City in August, alongside Omar Bogle on loan from the newly-promoted Welsh outfit. Kristian Pedersen came in on a permanent deal from Union Berlin, while the Club also completed loan agreements for Gary Gadner (Aston Villa) and Connor Mahoney (AFC Bournemouth).

Team News

Birmingham's Kristian Pedersen will need to go through a late fitness test after missing out on the last two games with an ankle problem. David Davis and Isaac Vassell are both out injured and have actually yet to be included in a matchday squad this season.

For The Bees, Emiliano Marcondes will be absent with an ongoing injury he picked up against West Brom. Chris Mepham missed the Boxing Day trip to Bristol and is a doubt for tomorrow's match. Lewis Macleod and Marcus Forss look set for longer spells on the sidelines, while Josh Clarke recently completed 45 minutes for Brentford B but is still chasing a return to full fitness.

The Manager

Garry Monk took charge of Birmingham nine months ago, replacing the outgoing Steve Cotterill. Prior to that, he had a six-month spell at the helm of Middlesbrough shortly after his year at Leeds United. His first role in management had come at Swansea City, which had followed his retirement from professional football. 

A defender who made over 220 appearances across the top four tiers of English football with Swansea, Monk spent a decade with the Welsh side. Starting at Torquay in the mid-1990s, he moved to Southampton in 1996. A handful of loan spells followed, including time at Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley. In 2004, the move to Wales settled the then-25-year-old, who remained there until 2015.

Last Time Out

Josh McEachran scores his first professional goal as Brentford draw 1-1 with The Blues at Griffin Park a few months ago.

Pre-Match Features

Ref Watch: Peter Bankes in charge of St Andrews tie

Yoann Barbet: Bristol draw, 100 games and upcoming fixtures

Travel Guide: Get to Birmingham City with us

Matchday Coverage

Mark Burridge brings you all the updates from St Andrews alongside Mick Cabble from 2.30pm on iFollow. Commentary comes to you directly, as does analysis of the game and updates from around the EFL.

Download the Official Brentford FC App to get notifications direct to your phone, plus all the latest news, views and reaction from the game. Visit the Play Store or iTunes App Store now to download. 

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