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Preview: Blues v Hull City

We need to compete and be at our best and we have to understand as well that Hull have their weapons and there is no such thing as an easy game in the Championship.

Pep Clotet.

Our full match preview ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship fixture between Blues and Hull City at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Pep Clotet on how his side will be approaching Hull game...
"I have a very cautious approach because I know how difficult it is in this Championship. We are a very solid team and we have been on the right trajectory and we find ourselves in a decent situation. But the last time we played Hull away we lost. Having lost last week at home it will make them (Hull) very dangerous to come here. Without the crowd the game is more even, and anything can happen at home. Hull are a team in a difficult situation, and I am sure they will do everything in their power to get something here. But any positive point will see us closer to our target. So, we need to compete and be at our best and we have to understand as well that Hull have their weapons and there is no such thing as an easy game in the Championship."

Pep Clotet on the need for his side to try to take the initiative as the home side...
"At home we need to put our stamp on the game. When you play against a team that is not fighting for a top two position like West Brom, you have the opportunity to create more chances and have more possession. But when we don't have the ball the most important thing is that they don't score. When we have the ball, we need to attack well and try and put ourselves in winning positions."

Pep Clotet on the boost his side have been given by claiming a deserved away point at West Brom last time out...
"We left West Brom with a lot of confidence. We managed to force West Brom into a game that we wanted, and it gives us a lot of confidence to go into this next game. Now it's up to us to try and secure our goal (staying in the Championship) as quickly as possible and then try and get the best possible finish for the Club."

Pep Clotet on his confidence that performance levels will not drop off despite the news of his departure at the end of the season...
"They are very good professionals who have a lot of honesty and pride in themselves and we have to do the best we can until the last game as it should be in professional football. We are still demanding of ourselves and still pushing ourselves to be the best version of ourselves we can."

Pep Clotet on playing in front of a crowd-free St. Andrew's...
"We already played there against Wolves and we trained on it on Thursday and it was good. The grass is really different, and the ground staff have done a lot of excellent work on the pitch. We know that the fans aren't going to be there, but they will be at home supporting us. Without fans in the stand the drive needs to come from the team."

Hull manager Grant McCann's comments ahead of the game...
“Our only priority is these next eight games and making sure we get the result we need to stay in this division. It’s what we do. It’s all about what we do. We have to make sure we react positively to what we did against Charlton last weekend. I stand by what I said after that match, for large periods of the game we in control in terms of possession but we just lacked that killer edge and ruthlessness in front of goal. We need to get that back and be more aggressive in both boxes. The boys are looking forward to the remaining games though and everyone is champing at the bit to get back out on the pitch at Birmingham this weekend.”

Blues team news...
Kristian Pedersen is available for selection after missing last weekend's game at the Hawthorns because of a slight groin injury. Ivan Sunjic and Marc Roberts will miss out because of minor thigh injuries. Josh McEachran is still recovering from his knee injury.

Hull team news...
Former Blues loanee Jon Toral could figure for the Tigers. Eric Lichaj, Jackson Irvine, Marcus Maddison and Stephen Kingsley all left the club ahead of the season restart after failing to agree short-term extensions with The Tigers.

Last five meetings between Blues and Hull City...
Championship 21 Dec 2019 Hull 3 Blues 0
Championship 02 Mar 2019 Hull 2 Blues 0
Championship 10 Nov 2018 Blues 3 Hull 3
Championship 17 Mar 2018 Blues 3 Hull 0
Championship 30 Sep 2017 Hull 6 Blues 1

Total meetings between Blues and Hull City...
Blues wins: 26
Draws: 18
Hull wins: 22

Form guide last five Championship games...
Blues: DDDLD
Hull City: LLLLL

Line-ups last game...
WBA v Blues: Camp, Colin, Clarke-Salter, Dean, Harding, Bellingham (Bela, 70), Kieftenbeld, G Gardner, Crowley (Boyd-Munce 90+1), Hogan, Jutkiewicz.
Subs (not used): Trueman, Bajrami, Burke, Stirk, Concannon, Reid, Gordon.

Hull v Charlton Athletic: Long, Pennington, Elder, Kane, MacDonald, Wijs, Bowler (Scott, 56), Batty (Lewis-Potter, 73) Eaves (Magennis, 56), Toral (Honeyman), Wilks (Samuelsen, 85).
Subs (not used): Tafazolli, Stewart, Burke, Ingram.

Stay home, stay safe - you're Blues...
We are all eagerly anticipating our return to competitive action at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium. Saturday's game against Hull City is the first of our five remaining home fixtures in the Championship. The COVID-19 pandemic means matches have to be behind closed doors for the health and safety of supporters, club personnel and frontline services. Whilst we know how much it pains you not being there in person - and your backing can often make such a difference - we would respectfully ask supporters not to turn up at the stadium. We are sure you will respect these wishes and put the health of others foremost in your thoughts. Rigorous COVID-19 protocols will be in place around and in the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium, which includes security and stewarding. You can still follow the lads in action, home and away, via our BluesTV live streaming service. With no games on Sky Sports and no red button service, it is the best way to see every kick of the remainder of our 2019/20 campaign.
Thank you for your cooperation.

BluesTV...
Subscribers to BluesTV will be able to watch this game live. Click here for further information.

Match officials...
Referee Dean Whitestone will take charge of Saturday's game at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium. So far this season the Northamptonshire-based official has refereed 25 games, where he has produced a total of 68 yellow cards, three red and awarded six penalties. The last Blues game he refereed was our Championship away game against Barnsley in February. Blues won that match 1-0 and there were two players cautioned; including Lukas Jutkiewicz for the visitors. Mr Whitestone has refereed nine Blues games in total, with Blues winning four of them, drawing one and losing four. The last Hull City game he took charge of was their Championship home fixture against Bristol City in August 2019. Hull were beaten 3-1 in that game, with three players cautioned- all Bristol players. He has refereed two Hull games during his career, with the Tigers winning one and losing one of them. Mr Whitestone will be assisted on Saturday by Akil Howson and Geoffrey Russell, with Thomas Bramall acting as the fourth official.

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