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Preview: Hull City v Blues 

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

Pep Clotet on the prospect of playing five games in just 15 days over the festive period...
"I think this is the most testing period of the season. You need to be very strong mentally to get through this period and get your focus right for every game. In my experience here in England the most important thing is to focus only on one game at a time and as soon as that game has gone focus on the next one."

Pep Clotet on David Davis' performance against West Brom, in what his first start since the home win against Blackburn in October...
"He's a player that is very specific with what he can do, and his role was very important in that game. He's a very good professional who always tries to put the team before himself and he understood the game perfectly and he prepared very well for that game. He stifled (Matheus) Pereira's movements and blocked him and made him feel uncomfortable by forcing him out of the areas where Pereira was going to be dangerous and he was a massive asset for us."

Pep Clotet's message to young centre-half Geraldo Bajrami who made his first league start for Blues against The Baggies...
"I want to see progression from him and for him to keep progressing. It was very difficult what he did the other day. It might look a little bit like mixed feelings around him, but you have to remember the side he was playing against and under what circumstances and I think he grew into the game. In the mid-game he was very good, and I think he will keep growing physically as well because the Championship is very demanding, and his focus will be better."

Pep Clotet on what he wants to see from his own side against Hull...
"I want us to be ourselves. We had a spell during the first half of the season where it was tough for us to find our football away from home. But we solved that very well in the last few away games and we had a good result at Reading where we played a very complete game. We need to keep building on that and trusting our football and being the same team home and away and always try to go for the three points. But we know that Hull at home are strong and they have a very good results in the last two games at home. They have strengths but also weaknesses and we need to focus on their weaknesses. For us it's about going there and trying to be ourselves and only focusing on the three points."

Pep Clotet on Blues coming up against a Hull side just a place and two points ahead of them in the table...
"It's kind of like a six-pointer game. It has something similar to QPR, but it is a little bit different in the way they think about the game. Hull are a team that have scored a lot of goals - 10 more than us. But they are still next to us in the table. Sometimes they score a lot of goals but don't translate that into points as much as they should. Probably if you think about our team and you added 10 more goals into our football, we would probably have six or seven points more. So, Hull are very good when it comes to their goals return but I don't think it's right when it comes to points but eventually, I think it will even out during the season. We’ve now all played 22 games, so if you see Hull there with us it's because we're similar level, but maybe a different type of football."

Blues team news...
Dan Crowley is available after recovering from a minoor hamstring problem. Jake Clarke-Salter (shoulder), Marc Roberts (ankle) and Maikel Kieftenbeld (knee) remain sidelined.

Hull team news...
Forward Tom Eaves has recovered from the head injury he sustained in Hull's last game at Charlton and is available to play. Josh Magennis is sidelined with a hamstring injury, whilst Norbert Balogh will be missing because of a calf problem. Former Blues loanee Jon Toral (knee) and Kevin Stewart (foot) are long-term absentees for The Tigers.

Last five meetings between Hull and Blues...
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
Championship 03 Mar 2016 Blues 1 Hull 0

Total meetings between Hull and Blues...
Hull wins: 21
Draws: 18
Blues wins: 26

Form guide last five games...
Hull: WLWLD
Blues: DDWLL

Line-ups last league game...

Charlton v Hull (4-4-1-1): Long, Lichaj, Elder (Lewis-Potter, 63), Batty (Bowler, 45), Burke, Wijs, Bowen, Lopes, Eaves (Honeyman, 76), Irvine, Grosicki.
Subs (not used): Kingsley, Tafazolli, Ingram.

Blues (4-2-3-1) v West Brom: Trueman, Pedersen, Colin, Jutkiewicz, Bela (Montero, 84), Dean, Bellingham (G Gardner, 74) Gimenez, Davis, Sunjic (McEachran, 84), Bajrami.
Subs (not used): Camp, Harding, Villalba, Maghoma.

BluesTV...
BluesTV will be streaming the match live to International Subscribers. Those in the Great Britain and Ireland can get exclusive audio commentary. Commentary will be provided by Jonathan Bell and Dale Moon. For more details about BluesTV, click here.

Match officials...
Referee Anthony Backhouse will take charge of Saturday's game.So far this season the Cumbria-based official has refereed 16 games, where he has produced a total of 56 yellow cards, tworeds, and awarded five penalties. It will be the first time that he has refereed either Blues or Hull, with the majority of the games he has taken charge of to date in League One and Two. Mr Backhouse will be assisted at the KCOM Stadium by Steven Meredith and James Wilson, with Geoff Eltringham acting as the fourth official.

Tickets...
Tickets for this game are on general sale. For full pricing and purchasing details, click here.

Supporter message...
The Club urges all supporters to be responsible in their behaviour and actions. Birmingham City knows that the overwhelming majority of our supporters do not indulge in anti-social activities and are passionate about the players and the Club. We appreciate this. We adopt a zero-tolerance stance on anti-social behaviour and spectator misconduct. This includes - amongst other things - drunkenness, throwing of missiles and use and carrying of pyrotechnics (flares, smoke bombs), racist and/or homophobic chanting. Pitch encroachment is forbidden and against the law. Please DO NOT encroach onto the pitch. Any person found to be encroaching on the pitch will automatically be served with a banning order - regardless of the circumstances. It is important that bottles, coins, flares and other items not thrown at our matches. Again, we would like to thank the overwhelming majority of supporters for their backing and their understanding.

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