Birmingham vs Middlesbrough preview
Last Updated: 11/01/19 10:50am
Birmingham's Isaac Vassell could return after 14 months out injured following his comeback in the Under-23s.
The forward has been out since 2017 after suffering a serious knee injury and then a hip problem during his recovery but could make the bench.
Midfielder David Davis (ankle) is still sidelined but could return by the end of the month. Kristian Pedersen is back after an ankle injury but Omar Bogle (calf) is out.
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Middlesbrough have defensive problems ahead of the trip to St Andrew's. Daniel Ayala, Ryan Shotton and Aden Flint missed the FA Cup win over Peterborough last week.
Flint is facing weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury while Ayala (knock) and Shotton (knee) are struggling. Winger Rajiv van La Parra is looking to retain his place after making his debut last weekend.
Birmingham have lost each of their last three Championship matches against Middlesbrough, failing to score in each match.
Middlesbrough are unbeaten in their last four Championship games at St. Andrew's against Birmingham (W1 D3) since a 2-3 defeat in November 2012.
Birmingham have lost only one of their last 18 home Championship matches (W9 D8).
Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga has scored five goals in five Championship starts against Birmingham.
Birmingham striker Lukas Jutkiewicz has had a direct hand in 18 league goals this season (10 goals, 8 assists) - no Blues' player has been directly involved in more within a single Championship season (inc. play-offs) since 2011/12 (Chris Burke (27) and Marlon King (24)).
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis has won each of his last three matches against Birmingham in all competitions.
David Prutton predicts: 1-0 (11/2 with Sky Bet)