Paul Heckingbottom's Reds look to continue fine form on the road...
Birmingham City v Barnsley
Barnsley will be eager to bounce back from last Friday’s defeat against Nottingham Forest when they take on Birmingham tomorrow.
The 5-2 loss at Oakwell means the Tykes have now won just once in their last 11 games, leaving Paul Heckingbottom’s side in 18th place.
The Reds can take heart however from the fact that they have lost just one of their last five, winning one and drawing three before their defeat against Forest.
Birmingham meanwhile go into the game hoping to record a third straight triumph which would see them solidify their position in 4th.
Blues have lost just two of their last 14 matches and are unbeaten in their last seven at home; losing just once in the League all season at St Andrews.
A win for Heckingbottom’s men however could see them climb at least five places, in what has the potential to be an exciting encounter in the West Midlands.
Barnsley will look to extend their unbeaten run at St Andrews to four games on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds have earned two 1-1 draws and a 5-0 win on their last three visits to Birmingham, with one of those draws coming in January 2014 which remains the most recent meeting between the Clubs.
Despite that decent away record, the Tykes are actually without a win in the last three matches to be played in this fixture; drawing once and losing twice, with both defeats coming at Oakwell.
In total, Barnsley have tasted success 21 times against Blues, with Birmingham winning 37 and the other 19 meetings ending as draws.
The Tykes are without forward Marley Watkins who begins a three-match ban.
Barnsley’s joint top goal scorer was handed a straight red card against Nottingham Forest last weekend following an altercation with Thomas Lam.
That means Ryan Kent and Saidy Janko will be vying for a starting berth at St Andrews, as will Tom Bradshaw who played the final 25 minutes in the 5-2 loss at home to Forest.
Hosts Birmingham will be missing defender Jonathan Spector once again, with the American sitting out the second game of a three-match ban.
Elsewhere, winger Jacques Maghoma will be pushing for a start after recently returning from a knee injury but Blues will have to check on the fitness of Stephen Gleeson who has been struggling with a calf problem.
Man in the Middle
David Coote will take charge of Barnsley for the second time this season on Saturday.
The Reds will be hoping for a better afternoon in his company however following a 2-1 defeat against Reading in September which saw Coote show a straight red card to Reading’s Garath McCleary.
That defeat was Barnsley’s fourth with Coote in charge and with two draws also coming their way, they will be hoping for a first win with the Nottinghamshire-based official at the helm this weekend.
Birmingham meanwhile, have won once, drawn twice and lost twice with Coote in charge, with their last meeting coming in August 2015 when they drew 2-2 at Burnley.
So far this season he has overseen 16 games, dishing out 56 yellow cards and just one red.
Their Star Man
Going into this season striker Lukas Jutkiewicz was without a goal in over two years, so when Birmingham completed the loan signing of the former Everton man in late August, it left a few scratching their heads.
The on-loan Burnley man – who has failed to score in 35 appearances for the Clarets – had other ideas however and just three games into his spell at St Andrews and he struck a 90th minute winner for Blues against Sheffield Wednesday.
Just a week later and he was on the scoresheet again, this time opening the scoring in a 1-1 draw at QPR.
In total, the Southampton-born forward has hit five goals in 13 games for Saturday’s hosts; the most recent of which came in early November when he headed a second-half equaliser for his new side at Huddersfield.
That form has seen the ex-Coventry and Middlesbrough man linked with a permanent move to St Andrews and with the 27-year-old on course for his best goal return since the 2013-14 season, he appears to have finally found a home for himself again.
So far this season Chris Wood has lit up the Championship with 12 goals in 22 games for Leeds United.
Despite only being 24, the Yorkshire outfit became the ninth English Club of Wood’s career in July 2015, with both Barnsley and Birmingham amongst his former employers.
The New Zealand international joined the Tykes on loan in September 2010 from West Bromwich Albion at the age of just 18.
Looking for more game time at Oakwell, the giant forward made his debut for the Reds in a 3-0 defeat at Reading. That was one of seven appearances which the Leeds man made for Barnsley; four of which were starts.
Despite failing to score for the Reds, Wood picked enjoyed a more fruitful loan spell at Brighton shortly after, before joining Birmingham on a similar deal in August 2011.
Although he didn’t score at Oakwell, the New Zealander hit 11 goals in 19 games for Blues which included a hat-trick against Millwall, as well as Europa League strikes against both Nacional and Club Brugge.
Following his positive stint at St Andrews, Wood spent further loan spells with Bristol City and Millwall, before a permanent switch to Leicester where he spent two-and-a-half years ahead of his move to Leeds.
Barnsley's last five away from home: (WLLWD)
Wolves 0-4 Barnsley
Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 Barnsley
Leeds United 2-1 Barnsley
Brentford 0-2 Barnsley
Burton Albion 0-0 Barnsley
Birmingham's last five at home: (DWWDW)
Birmingham City 2-2 Preston North End
Birmingham City 1-0 Blackburn Rovers
Birmingham City 4-2 Rotherham United
Birmingham City 1-1 Aston Villa
Birmingham City 1-0 Bristol City
Going to the match?
Birmingham play at St. Andrews, its address is as follows:
Birmingham City Football Club
St Andrew’s Stadium
How to get there
Leave the M6 at Junction 6 and take the A38(M) (known locally as the Aston Expressway) for Birmingham City Centre. Continue past the first turn off (Aston, Waterlinks) and then take the next turn off, for the Inner Ring Road.
Turn left at the island at the top of the slip road and take the Ring Road East, sign posted Coventry/Stratford. Continue along the ring road for two miles, crossing straight across three islands. At the fourth island (there is a large McDonalds on the far left hand corner) turn left into Coventry Road going towards Small Heath. Birmingham City's ground is about a 1/4 of a mile up this road on your left. The ground is well sign posted on the Inner Ring Road.
As well as some street parking in the vicinity, there is a small car park at the ground next to the visitors' entrance. There is a secure independent car park near the stadium based at Birmingham Wheels which is located at Adderley Road South, Birmingham. B8 1AD. (There is a £5 charge).
The nearest train stations are: Birmingham New Street: 1.9 miles, Birmingham Moor Street: 1.4 miles, Bordesley Station: 0.6 miles.
You can take the following buses from the city centre; No: 58, 60, 97 & 97A.
SENIOR (Over 65): £15.00
STUDENT (Must show NUS card at turnstiles): £15.00
JUVENILE* (13 to 18): £10.00
JUVENILE* (Under 13): £5.00
*Under 15s must be accompanied by an adult otherwise they will be refused entry at the turnstiles. Proof of age/ID required.
Tickets will remain on sale from the Box Office/Reds Superstore until 4pm, Friday 2nd December, subject to availability.