MATCH PREVIEW: BIRMINGHAM CITY v CARDIFF CITY
Match Previews18th December
Venue: St Andrew's
Date: Friday 18th December 2015, 7:45pm K.O.
Cardiff City travel to take on Birmingham at St Andrew’s in their final Sky Bet Championship match before Christmas.
For the third match in succession, the Bluebirds are up against a direct rival for the play-off spots, with Birmingham currently sitting three points below City in eighth place.
The Blues are looking to continue their momentum under their boss, Gary Rowett, who took them from the relegation places to an eventual tenth-place finish last season. Expectations were no doubt raised even further by their excellent start to this campaign, which at one point took them to second place in the league.
Birmingham look set to be without top-scorer Clayton Donaldson, while Paul Robinson and Welsh international David Cotterill are approaching returns to fitness. Meanwhile, Jonathan Grounds, who has been an ever-present for the Blues until now, is also a doubt.
There’s been plenty of movement between the West Midlands and South Wales, with a number of players pulling on the blue shirts of both Birmingham and Cardiff in recent years.
Ex-City captain Darren Purse made over two hundred appearances for Birmingham, winning their Player of the Year in the 2000/01 season. Meanwhile, former City stars Cameron Jerome, Roger Johnson and Chris Burke all moved directly from the Bluebirds to the Blues.
Others to have recently played for both sides include midfielders Tom Adeyemi and Jordon Mutch. Adeyemi starred at St Andrew’s for a season, joining the Bluebirds in summer 2014, while Mutch made sixty appearances for City before moving on to QPR.
City's Kiko Macheda could make a return to St Andrew's, having scored ten goals in eighteen games during a loan spell at the Club in 2013/14.
The Bluebirds leap-frogged Birmingham City to go top of the Championship with a 2-0 victory at Ninian Park in August 2006.
A crowd of 20,109 cheered City on, as Joe Ledley gave the home side an early lead – dispatching an effort past Colin Doyle from twelve yards out.
Birmingham then came back into things, going close through former Bluebird Cameron Jerome.
However, City sealed the win in the seventy-fifth minute, when Steve Thompson set up winger Paul Parry to fire home and make it 2-0.
You can also watch highlights of City's victory over Birmingham last season below...
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LISTEN: Supporters can listen in live on Cardiff City Player HD* for all the action from Birmingham City v Cardiff City.
WATCH: Extended highlights of the match will be available to subscribers of Cardiff City Player HD*
SOCIAL: Live updates from St Andrew's will come via our official Twitter account, @CardiffCityFC, and our Match Blog on www.cardiffcityfc.co.uk.
*Search ‘Cardiff City’ on the App Store and Google Play Store to view Cardiff City Player HD on Smart Phones, with live commentary and plenty more content available on the go.