Birmingham v Cardiff preview: Championship clash live on Sky Sports Football
Last Updated: 13/10/17 6:35pm
Birmingham could have record signing Jota available to face Cardiff on Friday night.
The £6.5million striker has been missing with a hamstring injury but is nearing a return while Che Adams and Jason Lowe are looking to overcome their own hamstring issues to feature.
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Emilio Nsue was due to return from international duty with Equatorial Guinea until Thursday which would give him a very short turnaround to face the Sky Bet Championship leaders. Arsenal loanee Carl Jenkinson is also out having dislocated his shoulder against Reading seven weeks ago.
Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson will be assessed after playing in the two games which secured Iceland's World Cup qualification. Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock was unhappy before the international break that Gunnarsson reported for Iceland duty after missing Cardiff's previous two games with hip and thigh problems.
But Gunnarsson started Iceland's wins over Turkey and Kosovo and Warnock will make a late decision on whether he plays at St Andrew's. Bruno Manga and Neil Etheridge will also be monitored after returning late from respective international duty with Gabon and the Philippines, while on-loan midfielder Craig Bryson is available again after missing the draw with Derby two weeks ago as he was unable to play against his parent club.
Birmingham have won one of their last 11 league meetings with Cardiff (D6 L4), a 1-0 victory at St. Andrew's in December 2015.
The Bluebirds have picked up two wins in their last 27 away visits to Birmingham in all competitions and haven't scored a single goal in any of their last three.
Steve Cotterill is set to take charge of his first Birmingham match - his last league meeting against Neil Warnock came in March 2012, with Cotterill's Nottingham Forest inflicting a 7-3 defeat on Warnock's Leeds side.
Cotterill has collected 23 from a possible 81 points in his last 27 home Championship games (W5 D8 L14).
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing has been involved in 10 goals in his last 14 league games (four goals, six assists).
Cardiff have won three more league matches in 2017 (18) than they managed in the entirety of 2016 (15).
Another new era for Birmingham as Steve Cotterill prepares to take charge for the first time. He's got plenty of issues to address and he would have been glad to have had a couple of weeks before this game to work with the squad after they were absolutely pumped last time out.
He'll want to make a quick impression at St Andrew's against a high-flying Cardiff side, who still sit top of the table heading into the game. But Neil Warnock won't want to get carried away, and I think this will be a draw on Friday night.
Prutton predicts: 1-1 with Lukas Jutkiewicz to score first (30/1 with Sky Bet)