There are just three games on in the Championship this week as the fourth round of the FA cup takes place.
The most profile game sees Birmingham FC travel to take on struggling Bristol City. The Blues can climb into the play-off places with a win at Aston Gate.
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Gary Rowett’s side have won their last two games 3-0, beating promotion rivals Ipswich and Derby County. The club, unbeaten in their last five Championship games, have been boosted further by the signing of Ryan Shotton and Diego Fabbrini.
27 year old Shotton joins on-loan from Derby, and will replace Shane Lowry, who has returned to Australia, while Fabbrini moves from Watford. The pair join James Vaughan and Will Buckley, signed earlier in the month.
The Birmingham manager told the Official Birmingham website that they are taking no chances against the Robins:
It’s always difficult to scout a team that have got different people in charge. John (Pemberton) and Wade (Elliott) have been there anyway but I’m sure bring very different ideas to the table.
For example, John is a person who’s played a diamond (formation) quite a few times when he’s taken over at places or in his youth coaching days.
They played five at the back when Steve (Cotterill) was there, consistently. They’ve played four at the back in the last few games. It’s quite difficult to know just what they’re going to do, so I think we go for a generalised view of them. But what we do know is that they’re going to be right up for it. We know they’re going to start with real tempo.
Anyone that watched them in the cup game against West Brom, anyone that watched them beat Middlesbrough, for the second time this season I might add as well, so we know they’re a team capable of good things.
Lee Tomlin was a player that if we were to bring a loan player and we couldn’t get our permanent (signing, Diego Fabbrini) we’d have liked on board, so we know what he’s capable of as well.”
Bristol meanwhile surprised Middlesbrough 1-0 in their last home game and lost 1-0 to Leeds last time out, as the Bristol City Official website reporting that today’s game is sold out.
The club are currently third from bottom, a point from safety. Lee Tomlin will make his debut after moving on loan from Bournemouth while Scott Golbourne could also feature after moving from Wolves.
9th place Cardiff can keep the pressure on those above them when they face Huddersfield. The Welsh outfit have picked up four points in their last two games to move to within 5 points off 6th place Sheffield Wednesday.
That gap can be cut to two with a win although Russell Slade’s men would maintain their current standing in the table should they secure the three points.
Huddersfield meanwhile are 17th in the table 9 points off their weekend opponents. The Terriers have lost their last two games, including a FA cup exit to Reading.
While they conceded 5 against the Royals, they have lost just one of their last 6 Championship games.
The day’s final game sees second bottom Charlton take on fourth from bottom Rotherham in a crucial 6 pointer. The Addicks have now won since November and have lost 7 and drawn 5 of their last 12.
Rotherham meanwhile have won just one of their last 6.