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Championship - Football: Birmingham v Huddersfield preview

Birmingham entertain Huddersfield in the Championship on Friday night with the visitors looking to bounce back from defeat against Burnley in their first game of the season.

The Terriers were beaten 1-0 in front of their own fans in what was a disappointing opener last week against the recently-relegated Clarets.

However, they should have enough quality to respond and pick up their first win of the campaign at St Andrew's, for which they are available at a tempting 19/10, as they aim to at least be in play-off contention again this season.

What

Birmingham v Huddersfield, Championship

Where

St Andrew's, Birmingham

When

19:45, Friday 5th August 2022

How to watch

N/A

Odds

Birmingham 6/4, draw 11/5, Huddersfield 19/10

Blues got off to solid start

Blues boss John Eustace will be hoping his side can build on an encouraging opening-day draw at Luton but he knows they will likely to be up against it when they take on the side who finished third last term, just six points off an automatic promotion place.

After they ended the campaign in 20th last season, Birmingham were tipped to be among the relegation candidates in the second tier again but they got off to a solid enough start last weekend, drawing 0-0 with a Hatters side who finished sixth in 2021-22.

They now host another of the teams who lost out in the play-offs last season in Huddersfield, who went down 1-0 to Nottingham Forest in the final at Wembley to end their hopes of returning to the top flight.

Changes at Huddersfield

Plenty has changed at Huddersfield since that agonising defeat with popular boss Carlos Corberan deciding to resign and the club promoting his assistant, Danny Schofield, into the head coach role.

Schofield has also lost key players from last season, with Harry Toffolo and Lewis O'Brien joining Nottingham Forest, and he will have been disappointed by the manner of the defeat against Burnley when his side failed to register a shot on target in the entire match.

They struggled to get going and the scoreline could have been worse as the Clarets missed plenty of chances while Scott Twine's free-kick for the visitors hit the post late on.

However, Huddersfield still have Danny Ward, who scored 14 league goals last season, up front, while the vastly-experienced Jordan Rhodes is another option after he was only used as a late sub against Burnley. Ward is 3/1 to score anytime and Rhodes is 12/5.

Defensive base for Birmingham

They will need to put in an improved display, but the West Yorkshire outfit are likely to see more of the ball than they did against Vincent Kompany's side and therefore they should create more chances.

After it served him well at Luton, Eustace may well decide to set his team up to be defensively solid again first and foremost and try to hit the visitors on the break.

Facing two sides who made the play-offs in their first two games of the new season represents a tough start for Birmingham and their new boss Eustace, who succeeded Lee Bowyer over the summer.

Even though the Blues were impressive defensively at Kenilworth Road when they managed to keep Luton at bay in their first game, they struggled to create chances themselves, managing just three shots on target.

Troy Deeney was partnered in attack alongside Scott Hogan and the duo will hope to be more involved in the final third at home, while Lukas Jutkiewicz could come into the side if Eustace decides to freshen up his frontline.

George Hall and Ryan Stirk are fit and available for selection for City to give Eustace more options, but Gary Gardner, Nico Gordon and Krystian Bielik are all still absent through injury.

Related Championship News

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Championship - Football: Season preview

Kasumu still out for Town

Huddersfield duo Matty Pearson and David Kasumu are both still unavailable for selection with foot and hamstring injuries respectively but Schofield has confirmed the latter, a summer signing from MK Dons, will only be out for a few weeks and the injury is not as bad as was first feared.

Last season's corresponding game at St Andrew's ended 2-0 to Huddersfield, while the pair played out a goalless draw at the John Smith's Stadium.

This clash could be another tight affair and chances may be at a premium so under 2.5 goals at odds of 8/13 seems a very likely outcome while Huddersfield, who will be fired up to respond to their opening-day defeat, can claim a narrow victory.

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