Preview: Blues v Sheffield Wednesday

They are a good - they are going to be difficult to beat.

Aitor Karanka

Our full match preview ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship fixture against Sheffield Wednesday at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Aitor Karanka on the benefit of having an early season international break...
"It's been really good to have two clear weeks to work with them on the training ground, particularly as we have had a lot of new players (join the Club). It has been a chance to keep growing and improving."

Aitor Karanka on returning to action with a home fixture against Sheffield Wednesday...
"It's the kind of game where you can't look at the table because it's not a true reflection (with The Owls' points deduction). They are a team that should be at least where we are in the table and they are going to be difficult to beat. They have a coach (Garry Monk) who knows us well. But once again it's about us and how we approach the game. I would like us to be strong at home because when you are strong at home it is easier to keep growing."

Aitor Karanka on playing a Wednesday side that tends to play with a back three...
"I don't know if it's a fashion, but a lot of teams now are playing with three at the back. When that happens, we have to approach the game in a different way, but still knowing what we want to do."

Aitor Karanka on the prospect of Mikel San Jose making his first appearance since joining Blues...
"San Jose is available. With seven games in three weeks he will have his chance. We will see if it is this Saturday, or the following Tuesday or Saturday. Mikel is a player that everybody knows about his capabilities, he will be important for us."

Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk's comments ahead of the game...
"I really enjoyed my work down there (at Blues). I went there when the club were in real danger of relegation. We progressed it forward. I am very proud of the work we have done there. I know Aitor. They are very organised. They are very determined and are a very strong team. St. Andrew’s is always a difficult place to go and they will be buoyed by their start to the season. It will be another typical, tough Championship game. It is about us and what we need to do. It is a busy schedule. We are trying to give ourselves the best preparation possible and trying to accumulate points. Every game is massive for us this season. We don’t have the luxury of feeling comfortable. We are not in a comfortable situation. We have adversity around us, and we are trying to put ourselves in a bubble."

Blues team news...
Jonathan Leko is available for the first time since sustaining an ACL injury back in December 2019. Spaniard Mikel San Jose, and Australian Riley McGree are in contention to play. Josh McEachran (ACL) is still several weeks away from returning.

Sheff Wed team news...
Tom Lees (groin) and Liam Shaw (ankle) are likely to miss out. Izzy Brown is a doubt because of a knee problem. Dominic Iorfa (hamstring) should be available after missing the Owls' last game before the international break. Liam Palmer (back) could also return.

Head to head...
Blues wins: 38
Draws: 27
Sheff Wed wins: 34

Last five meetings between Blues and Sheffield Wednesday...
Championship 22 Feb 2020 Blues 3 Sheff Wed 3
Championship 27 Nov 2019 Sheff Wed 1 Blues 1
Championship 01 Jan 2019 Sheff Wed 1 Blues 1
Championship 27 Oct 2018 Blues 3 Sheff Wed 1
Championship 03 Feb 2018 Sheff Wed 1 Blues 3

This match will be available to watch on BluesTV for just £10. Click here for further details. If you’re an existing international package subscriber you will not need to purchase a pay-per-view package, as it is included within your current subscription.

Match officials...
Referee: Peter Bankes
Assistant Referee 1 - James Mainwaring
Assistant Referee 2 - Timothy Wood
Fourth Official - Ross Joyce