Birmingham City vs Sunderland: Championship Preview, Gameweek 21, 2022
Photo: Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Birmingham City host Sunderland in the final match for both teams before the EFL Championship goes on hiatus for the World Cup.

Troy Deeney's goal a minute from time salvaged a point for the Blues in a 2-2 draw against Swansea City in midweek to run their unbeaten streak to four matches.

The Black Cats fell 1-0 to Cardiff City on Tuesday thanks to a 49th-minute strike by Mark Harris and sit 17th in the table, just four points above the relegation zone.

Birmingham have dominated this matchup in recent years, winning seven of 12 games with Sunderland claiming all three points twice and three other encounters ending in a draw.

Team news

Birmingham City

The Blues could be without Harlee Dean as the defender picked up a calf injury in the win over Stoke where he scored the second goal and missed the midweek draw against Swansea.

Przemyslaw Placheta (shin) and Marc Roberts (hamstring) are expected to be out until the conclusion of the World Cup, although Roberts returned to training last month.

Nico Gordon is inching closer to a return after playing for the U-21s last week.

Sunderland

Midfielder Corry Evans looks set to return to the starting XI after coming off the bench in the defeat to Cardiff, playing 33 minutes, but unable to help the Black Cats get anything from the game.

Luke O'Nien is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card against Cardiff with Trai Hume the likeliest to take his place. Jack Pritchard could also return to the starting lineup.

Niall Huggins is fit again while Aji Alese (ankle), Dan Ballard (foot), Lynden Gooch (foot), Edouard Michut (muscle strain) and Ross Stewart (thigh) will all return after the World Cup break.

Likely line-ups

Birmingham City: Ruddy; Trusty, Sanderson, Colin; Longelo, Chong, Mejbri, Bielik, Graham; Deeney, Hogan

Sunderland: Patterson; Cirkin, Batth, Wright, Hume; Clarke, Neil, Evans, Embleton; Simms, Diallo

Key players

Scott Hogan (Birmingham City)

The Irishman leads the Blues with nine goals and has scored in conescutive games inside of the first 15 minutes of the games against Stoke and Swansea and for his efforts, was recently called up to the Republic of Ireland squad.

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Amad Diallo (Sunderland)

On a season-long loan from Manchester United, the 20-year old Ivorian has scored twice in the last four matches and has impressed with the Black Cats so far.

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Match facts

Where is the match being played?

The match will take place at St. Andrews, home to Birmingham since 1906.

What time is the match?

Kick-off is set for 8pm BST.

How can I watch the match?

Sky Sports Football will have live television coverage half an hour prior to kick-off.

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