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More than 100 days later - we're back!

It's been 104 days since Blues last played in the Championship.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the suspension of football back in March as preparations for the trip to the Hawthorns had been completed.
Now, with the necessary return to play behind closed doors protocols in place, we can at last take on West Browmich Albion.
Plenty has happened in these past weeks.
And the Blues squad has taken on a different look.
So here's a recap of some of the major events through lockdown and return to training ahead of matchday.
A 13-match unbeaten run came to an end at Leicester City in the FA Cup before Reading came away from the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium with a 3-1 victory that was somewhat flattering.
After football was suspended and the Albion game postponed, Blues continued to train for a week as normal before players were sent home for lockdown with individual fitness programmes.
The Club's mindset was that football would return at some stage - so let's be ready.
The players did everything and more than was asked of them on their own.
For a fortnight before players were allowed back in groups of five at the Trillion Trophy Training Centre, Wast Hills, on 25 May players could voluntarily use the facilities at the HQ to undergo their personal regimes, under supervision - which they did.
Once full contact training was given the OK on 3 June, the squad was well into the swing of things and hungry to play.
As the end of May approached, some significant decisions were announced in regard out of contract players.
Jacques Maghoma and Jonathan Grounds, two of the Club's modern day stalwarts, were informed their deals would not be renewed.
David Stockdale, Cheick Keita and Jefferson Montero - whose loan Blues opted not to extend - were also notified that they would not be retained.
It was confirmed that Craig Gardner would concentrate solely on coaching after the news the 12-month option on his playing contract would not be taken up ahead of it's 30 June expiry.
Of Blues Under-23s, the time at the Club for Corey O'Keeffe and Olly McCoy also came to an end.
Xavi Calm, who had been assisting at first team level, decided to return to Spain for family reasons.
Blues squad, and coaching set-up, therefore took on a different shape. Those players exiting ceased to train, whilst Under-23s made the step up on the first day back.
Jayden Reid and Ryan Stirk - both of whom had year's options triggered - joined the group to train and prepare, along with Nico Gordon, Kyle Hurst and Ryan Burke, all of whom were offered their first professional deals.
Jack Concannon was offered fresh terms, Miguel Fernandez's 12-month option was triggered and he was handed squad number 28.
Odin Bailey, Josh Dacres-Cogley and Charlie Lakin returned from their respective loans as League One and Two were curtailed; Geraldo Bajrami was assimilated as Solihull Moors National League campaign came to a halt.
Steve Seddon's loan stint at Portsmouth was extended.
With the EFL allowing 20-man squads and up to five substitutes a game as special measures, the importance of the young guns involvement could be key in the last matches.
On the injury front, Jeremie Bela return to full training after the hamstring issue he sustained at QPR in February and Maikel Kieftenbeld has continued to make fine progress. His 90 minutes against Wolves in a Blues warm-up match last Saturday was his first in more than a year.
Of Blues loan players, Scott Hogan's agreement was extended for the rest of the season, and arrangements are also in place for Jake Clarke-Salter, whose loan does not formally expire until 30 June.
Perhaps the major news of the football hiatus came when it was announced on 8 June that Pep Clotet would step down as Head Coach at the season's conclusion.
An amicable decision, the Club will be sad to see Pep leave but conversely it provided fair warning in order to plan for a replacement.
Blues fine-tuned their training with a friendly against Wolves at St. Andrew's, which they were winning via a Lukas Jutkiewicz goal right until the last moment.
This week has been about putting those final plans into place for the Hawthorns, and getting ready to action - after 104 long days!

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