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Championship preview: Norwich City vs Birmingham City

Norwich City will be aiming to register back-to-back league wins when they host Birmingham City at Carrow Road on Tuesday night.

The Canaries have made an average start on their return to the second tier, but they will be looking to gather momentum after ending their three-match winless at Rotherham United last weekend.

Daniel Farke’s side registered a 2-1 triumph on the road after Jordan Hugill scored the winner from the penalty spot in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time. Rotherham played with 10 men from the 70th minute after Angus MacDonald’s sending off.

The club are currently 11th in the standings with seven points, six adrift of league leaders Bristol City. Elsewhere, Birmingham have not made much improvement from last season despite the change of manager.

Under Aitor Karanka, they have continued the trend of playing stalemates. The Blues were recently on a four-match unbeaten with three draws before they suffered 1-0 defeat to bottom-placed Sheffield Wednesday.

The west Midlands outfit have accumulated six points from the opening five Championship matches. They are placed 16th on the table with the one-point deficit over the Canaries.

Head-to-Head record:

Norwich and Birmingham have tackled each other on 70 occasions and the record has been fairly even with 24 and 23 wins respectively. However, in recent times, the hosts have dominated the fixture. They are unbeaten in the previous five meetings against the Blues with four victories.

Team News:

Norwich City:

Christoph Zimmermann and Todd Cantwell missed the recent outing at Rotherham with a calf problem and knee bruise respectively, but the latter is available to face the Blues, as confirmed by Farke. Elsewhere, Jordan Hugill could continue to lead the line ahead of Teemu Pukki after scoring his maiden goal for the club via the penalty spot on Saturday.

Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Max Aarons, Grant Hanley, Ben Gibson, Xavier Quintilla; Lukas Rupp, Oliver Skipp; Emiliano Buendia, Marco Stiepermann, Todd Cantwell, Jordan Hugill

Birmingham City:

Jon Toral is out with a groin problem, but Lukas Jutkiewicz could return to action after his absence in midweek due to an illness. Karanka reserved special praise for summer signings Jonathan Leko and Riley McGree, who impressed with their cameo roles against Wednesday. McGree could start the midweek game, but Leko may have to settle for another cameo with Karanka cautious over his fitness after his return from a long-term knee injury.

Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neil Etheridge; Maxime Colin, Harlee Dean, George Friend, Kristian Pedersen; Gary Gardner, Adam Clayton; Ivan Sanchez, Riley McGree, Jeremie Bela; Lukas Jutkiewicz

Predicted Score:

Norwich had to dig deep to secure a comeback win at Rotherham and that should have boosted their confidence. We are backing them to register a second successive league victory by continuing their recent dominance over Birmingham. Both teams have struggled upfront this term, but the return of Cantwell should boost the creativity in the Canaries ranks.

Norwich City 2-0 Birmingham City

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