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Preview: West Bromwich Albion v Blues

We had a really good match against them earlier this season at our place. We should have won that game and we were the better team on the night.

Garry Monk.

Our full match preview ahead of tonight's Sky Bet Championship fixture against the Baggies at the Hawthorns (8pm kick-off).

Garry Monk’s thoughts on West Brom...
"They have one of the strongest squads in the league. It’s going to be difficult, but I think we’ve shown already this season we can beat these types of teams. We had a really good match against them earlier this season at our place. We should have won that game and we were the better team on the night. Even though it’s a different game now we need to go and show the same again in a difficult environment against a very good side."

Garry Monk asked if a win would be the best response to recent events on and off the pitch...
"Three points would be a perfect response. You’re at the stage of the season where every game is vitally important. Everybody becomes a little bit clearer what they’re fighting for and each point means that little bit more."

Garry Monk on Blues' recent run of league form which has seen them lose their last four games...
"Of course, we've been frustrated and disappointed with our recent results. But in this league, it's inevitable because every single team has gone through a bad spell of results. When you actually look at the four games, we've been very unfortunate to receive four losses in a row. Two of the games we didn't perform well enough and we deserved to lose. But the other two games; including Preston in the last one we were the better team on the pitch. There are no excuses or dwelling on it that the results haven't been good enough in the last four games. What we do is fight strong in these next eight games.”

West Brom caretaker manager James Shan's comments ahead of the game...
“This will be a very similar challenge to the first match at St. Andrew’s. They have a clear way of doing things, very structured with plenty of physicality and a real threat from the two boys up front. Depending on their selection, there is creativity in the wide areas, and I think it’s fair to say we found it difficult against their organisation in the first game. They were a very well drilled and organised team. It’s a local derby and that will bring a fantastic atmosphere I’m sure but one for us to all look forward to."

Blues team news...
Garry Monk has a fully fit squad available to him for the first time since taking over as Blues Manager. Full-back Maxime Colin has recovered from the hamstring injury that he picked up against Hull City and has kept him out of Blues' last three Championship games.

West Brom team news...
Winger/striker Matt Phillips is the only player expected to be unavailable.

Last five meetings between West Brom and Blues...
Championship 14 Sep 2018 Blues 1 WBA 1
FA Cup 24 Jan 2015 Blues 1 WBA 2
Premier League 05 Mar 2011 Blues 1 WBA 3
Premier League 18 Sep 2010 WBA 3 Blues 1
Championship 18 Mar 2007 WBA 1 Blues 1

Form guide. Last five Championship fixtures....
WBA: LLDWW
Blues: WLLLL

Total meetings...
WBA wins: 57
Blues wins: 35
Draws: 36

Ticket news...
Blues have sold out of our full allocation of 2,604 tickets for this game.

BluesTV…
BluesTV will be broadcasting live from the Hawthorns. UK & EIRE customers will be able to listen to listen to this game as part of their subscription. International subscribers can watch the game. Click here to subscribe to BluesTV.

Important supporter message...
In light of recent events, the Club is urging all supporters to be responsible in their behaviour and actions.
Birmingham City knows that the overwhelming majority of our supporters do not indulge in anti-social activities and are passionate about the players and the Club. We appreciate this and never take it for granted.
The scrutiny of the football world, the wider public and the authorities is on us and we urge everyone to rally together to project the correct and positive image of the Club.
We adopt a zero-tolerance stance on anti-social behaviour and spectator misconduct. This includes - amongst other things - drunkenness, throwing of missiles and use and carrying of pyrotechnics (flares, smoke bombs), racist and/or homophobic chanting.
Pitch encroachment is forbidden and against the law. Please DO NOT encroach onto the pitch, under any circumstances. Think of the damage you may be doing to your Club and also the punishment you may incur personally.
We are sure everyone is aware that the Football Association have powers to take serious action against the Club, which can include heavy fines and ground closure.
The Club, as did others, recently received a written warning from the FA about missiles being thrown onto the pitch, at home and away games. As a result, neither bottles or containers are allowed at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium and drinks are decanted into paper cups. It is important that bottles, coins, flares and other items not thrown at our matches.
Again, we would like to thank the overwhelming majority of supporters for their backing and their understanding at this time. We continually review all our stewarding, safety and security measures and we remain committed to making your experience following Blues a safe one and as pleasant as possible - but we also need YOUR help.
Thank you.

Match officials…
David Webb will take charge of tonight's game at the Hawthorns. So far this season, the Lancashire-based official has refereed 28 games where he has produced a total of 76 yellow cards and two reds. The last Blues game he refereed was our Championship home fixture against Nottingham Forest in February. Blues won that game 2-0 and there were four players cautioned; including Michael Morrison and Maikel Kieftenbeld for the hosts. Forest's Yohan Benalouane was also sent off late on after receiving a second yellow card for the visitors. During his refereeing career to date, Mr Webb has taken charge of five Blues matches - three of which Blues have won, one they have drawn and one they have lost. The only Baggies game he has taken charge of was their Championship away fixture at Bolton Wanderers in January. West Brom won that game 2-0 and there were four players booked in total; including Mason Holgate and Gareth Barry for the visitors. Mr Webb will be assisted this evening by Lee Venamore and Robert Merchant with Gavin Ward acting as the fourth official.

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