Match Time：12/2/2020 03:45 Wednesday (GMT+8)
Birmingham City play host to Barnsley on Wednesday morning looking to end a five-match winless streak in the Championship. Despite their progression under Valerien Ismael, Barnsley make the trip to St Andrew's having recorded back-to-back defeats in the second tier.
While Birmingham are sitting a comfortable distance away from the relegation zone, Aitor Karanka will not feel under any great pressure in the dugout at St Andrew's.However, despite sitting six points clear of the bottom three, a run of five matches without success and a lack of firepower in attack means that the Spaniard continues to come under scrutiny.Stalemates with Coventry City, Luton Town and Millwall are respectable results in their own right, but Blues supporters remain uneasy about the team's lack of goals.Regardless of four other teams scoring fewer, it is widely perceived that Karanka is placing too much emphasis on the defensive side of their game.Fans will not expect anything different against opponents who sit above their club on goal difference, but the time may come in the future where Karanka needs to adapt to keep himself in a job.At a time when Birmingham have claimed just three wins all season, Ismael required just four fixtures to match that total after his arrival last month.Barnsley have 12 points from a possible 21 under his guidance, although their progress has been halted with defeats to Brentford and Blackburn Rovers.The Tykes were competitive in each encounter, and Ismael may be more concerned that his side's last three goals have all been scored in the 85th minute or later.Like their hosts, Barnsley are one positive or negative result away from a different spin being put on their future prospects, and the small margins have the potential to lead to an uneventful contest on Tuesday evening.
Birmingham City Championship form: WLLDDD
Barnsley Championship form: WLWWLL
Ismael could hand a recall to experienced midfielder Matty James, who remained as an unused substitute versus Blackburn.With Herbie Kane making a positive impressive on his first Barnsley start, Alex Mowatt may drop out of the first XI.Alen Halilovic could feature in the Birmingham squad, providing that he has received international clearance after signing on a free transfer.Jeremie Bela will also hope to come into the starting XI after his appearance from the substitutes' bench against Millwall.
Birmingham City possible starting lineup: Etheridge; Roberts, Dean, Friend; Colin, Sunjic, San Jose, Pedersen; Leko, Jutkiewicz, Bela
Barnsley possible starting lineup: Walton; Sollbauer, Helik, Andersen; Brittain, Kane, James, Styles; Chaplin, Woodrow, Frieser
Birmingham City VS Barnsley
Birmingham City 1-2 Barnsley