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Club News

In Focus: Birmingham City

23 December 2017

Norwich City head to St. Andrew's on Boxing Day to face Birmingham City in the Sky Bet Championship.

Blues are enduring a season of struggle despite a summer of heavy recruitment, with Steve Cotterill as yet unable to turn things around following Harry Redknapp's departure.

Here, we take a look at the challenge Birmingham will present to Daniel Farke's Canaries.

Key Players
Of all Birmingham's summer additions, arguably the most high-profile was that of playmaker Jota from Championship rivals Brentford.

The Spaniard excelled during the second half of the 2016-17 campaign with The Bees, netting a dozen times in just 21 league matches.

While yet to get off the mark for his new club, Jota retains the ability to unlock defences - with Che Adams another player arguably yet to hit the heights of last season.

With goals in short supply for the Midlands side, an improvement in attacking areas will be vital in their efforts to climb the table.

Form Guide
Birmingham have endured a difficult time of late, with their most recent win coming against Nottingham Forest in mid-November.

Saturday did see them bring an end to a run of three straight defeats however, when they earned a creditable 1-1 draw away to Sunderland.

Both goals came in the first half, with Sam Gallagher's opener for the visitors cancelled out within five minutes by Lewis Grabban.

Two bookable offences saw Gallagher dismissed midway through the second period, with Blues holding out to take a point despite their numerical disadvantage.

Previous Meeting
Norwich City came out on top when the two sides met earlier this season, earning a 1-0 win at Carrow Road.

The only goal of the game came as early as the fifth minute, with Nelson Oliveira poking home Timm Klose's effort from close-range.

City dominated for much of the first half, but Harlee Dean produced a last-ditch clearance to prevent them from doubling their lead.

Instead, they had to settle for a slender success against a side who fielded six debutants following a late splurge towards the end of the summer transfer window.

Squad List
Goalkeepers: David Stockdale, Tomasz Kuszczak, Connal Trueman.

Defenders: Emilio Nsue, Jonathan Grounds, Marc Roberts, Maxime Colin, Harlee Dean, Cohen Bramall, Carl Jenkinson, Josh Dacres-Cogley, Michael Morrison, Corey O'Keefe, Paul Robinson (c), Wes Harding.

Midfielders: Maikel Kieftenbeld, Craig Gardner, Cheikh Ndoye, Jacques Maghoma, Jeremie Boga, Jason Lowe, David Davis, Jose Ignacio Peleteiro Ramallo, Stephen Gleeson.

Forwards: Lukas Jutkiewicz, Isaac Vassell, Che Adams, Sam Gallagher, Nicolai Brock-Madsen.

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