Birmingham v Brighton & Hove Albion FC: preview

Brighton & Hove Albion FC news
Brighton & Hove Albion FC news

Albion travel to Birmingham on Saturday afternoon looking to kick-start their Championship season.

Oscar Garcia has seen his team lose their first two league games of the campaign, Leeds and Derby respectively, and also their first round Capital Cup game against Newport County.

The Blues currently sit in 13th place in the table after a win and a loss in the first two, while Albion sit in 19th without a single point.

Team News

Albion welcome left-back Stephen Ward into the squad after the Republic of Ireland international secured his season-long loan from Wolves yesterday.

Bruno (hamstring) and Liam Bridcutt (hernia) will both miss Saturday’s game, while Andrea Orlandi’s knee injury may keep him out of the tie.

Keith Andrews could make his first start in an Albion shirt after joining on loan last week.

Mitch Hancox is available for the home side after recovering from a groin problem, but Jonathan Spector (broken cheekbone), Will Packham (broken leg), Darren Ambrose(groin) and Nikola Zigic (back) all remain sidelined.

Form

A couple of 2-1 defeats have seen Albion stutter into the opening two weekends of the season. A last gasp winner from Leeds on the opening day of the season and some slack defending against Derby at the Amex last Saturday means Albion are yet to pick up a single point.

Birmingham fell to a 1-0 loss at home to Watford in their curtain raiser but now have back-to-back victories after overcoming Plymouth in the Capital Cup and then Yeovil in the Championship.

Players to Watch

Leonardo Ulloa (Albion)

The Argentine frontman has hit two goals in two games so far this term to continue his fine form last season. After joining from Almeria in January he scored nine goals in 17 games. This season Ulloa has had five shots at goal.

Wade Elliott (Birmingham)

Although the Blues haven’t scored themselves this season in the Championship - their single goals was an own goal - Wade Elliott has averaged two shots per game. The former Burnley man has also completed 82.5% of his passes.

Statistic

Since Albion did the double over Birmingham in 1988/89, the Midlands club are unbeaten in the last eight meetings. (Birmingham City Official site)