Birmingham City welcome Sunderland to St Andrew’s in Friday Night Football in 2022-23 Sky Bet Championship.
Victory would see Birmingham climb to sixth in the table until Saturday afternoon, whilst Sunderland can go 12th with a win.
Harlee Dean is a doubt for Birmingham City after he missed their 2-2 draw against Swansea in midweek with a calf injury.
Przemyslaw Placheta (shin), Marc Roberts (hamstring), Nico Gordon (unspecified) and Gary Gardner (calf) remain absent.
Sunderland could welcome Niall Huggins back into contention as the 21 year-old chases a first appearance in 13 months, following a lengthy heel injury.
Dan Ballard, Lynden Gooch (both foot), Aji Alese (ankle) and Ross Stewart (thigh) remain absent, but the quartet are all expected to return in mid-December after the Championship’s break for the World Cup.
- Birmingham are unbeaten in four of their last five league meetings against Sunderland (W2, D2, L1).
- Sunderland have failed to win in their last eight league visits to Birmingham City (D3, L5).
- Birmingham have kept just one clean sheet at home to Sunderland in their last five league clashes.
- Scott Hogan has been involved in 10 league goals for Birmingham this season, in which he scored nine goals and provided one assist.
- No Sunderland player this season has been involved in more goals than Jack Clarke, who has produced six assists and four goals in 18 appearances.
Having played eight matches in seven weeks, Birmingham City have done well to lose just once although they were certainly made to work for their midweek draw against Swansea, having led before conceding twice but delivered a great response to fight back for a draw.
Sunderland meanwhile were surprisingly messy in terms of their defensive effort with poor marking and movement, which was deservingly punished by a clinical Cardiff goal whilst their attack wasted chances constantly.
I therefore do expect Sunderland to try and deliver a better response but they’ve struggled in recent league visits to St Andrew’s, against a team who are currently in strong form so a solid start is crucial otherwise I can see just one result.
Prediction: Birmingham City 1-0 Sunderland
Result: Birmingham City 1-2 Sunderland