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Preview: Blues v Brentford

New players like Ivan Sanchez have arrived and it was important for the group to see new faces. We've brought in some good players with good characters and I hope more will come.

Aitor Karanka

Our full match preview ahead of Blues' first Sky Bet Championship fixture of the season against Brentford on Saturday at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium (12.30pm kick-off).

Aitor Karanka on the inability to have fans at St. Andrew's for the first home game...
"It's a bad situation, not just because fans can't go to the stadium, it's also about normal life. It's bad for everybody and the only thing we can do is try to win our games to give the fans some happiness at home and then we hope they can come back as soon as possible. The worst thing is the uncertainty because things change from week to week."

Aitor Karanka on the need for improvements after the cup defeat against Cambridge...
"We need to change a lot, but the week has been really good. They (the players) were frustrated after the game but they are ready for the next game on Saturday. New players like Ivan Sanchez have arrived and it was important for the group to see new faces. We've brought in some good players with good characters and I hope more will come."

Aitor Karanka's take on Brentford...
"They are always growing and improving as a club and a team, which is a good example to other clubs. I expect them to be just as good as last season. They have lost very good players in the past but the players they have brought in have been even better than the ones that were there. It's going to be a tough game."

Aitor Karanka on what he feels would be a successful season for Blues...
"To finish as high as possible. I don't want to say today that I would be happy if we finished 14th and then we finished 10th or that we wanted to finish sixth and then we finished eighth. We are trying to change a lot of things - players' mentality and the style and everything needs time."

Blues team news...
Lukas Jutkiewicz has recovered from his quad injury and is expected to be in the matchday squad. Gary Gardner (knee) is unlikely to figure. Spanish winger Ivan Sanchez should be included in the squad for the first time since joining Blues last month. Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge's availability depends on Blues receiving international clearance in time. Josh McEachran (ACL) and Jonathan Leko (acl) are definitely out.

Head to head...
Blues wins: 20
Draws: 10
Brentford wins: 12

Last five meetings between Blues and Brentford...
Championship 15 Feb 2020 Blues 1 Brentford 1
Championship 03 Aug 2019 Brentford 0 Blues 1
Championship 29 Dec 2018 Blues 0 Brentford 0
Championship 02 Oct 2018 Brentford 1 Blues 1
Championship 20 Feb 2018 Brentford 5 Blues 0

BluesTV...
Due to this game being selected for broadcast by Sky Sports, only selected countries will be able to watch the game BluesTV. Audio commentary will be available as normal. Please click here for full details.

Match officials...
Referee – Tony Harrington
Assistant Referee 1 – Shaun Hudson
Assistant Referee 2 – Philip Dermott
Fourth Official – Michael Salisbury

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