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Birmingham vs Blackburn predictions: Familiar face returning to haunt Blues
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Jack Ogalbe
It could be a happy return to St Andrew's for new Blackburn boss John Eustace
It could be a happy return to St Andrew's for new Blackburn boss John Eustace

- Birmingham have lost their last three games in all competitions
- Blackburn won their first match since John Eustace's appointment, beating Stoke on Saturday
- Recommended bet: Blackburn to win

Football has a funny way of throwing up coincidences and Tuesday sees new Blackburn boss John Eustace step back into the dugout from the first minute against the club he left in October, Birmingham City.

Blues' fans questioned their board's decision to sack Eustace and the West Midlands outfit have since parted company with his successor, Wayne Rooney.

In another example of footballing fate, Rooney's replacement was former Rovers  boss Tony Mowbray, who made an excellent start to life in the role but who has seen his side lose their last three, most recently going down 2-0 at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Eustace was in the stands for the opening hour of Blackburn's 3-1 win over Stoke and will have extra motivation to get a result on his return to St Andrew's.

Team news

Birmingham are currently without the trio of Alfie Chang (knee), Dion Sanderson (ankle) and George Hall (muscle).

Goalkeeper John Ruddy is a doubt with a knock and Neil Etheridge could deputise for the third game running.

After being appointed on Friday, it is unclear how much say Eustace will have had in Blackburn's selection for their victory over Stoke.

The 44-year-old may opt for an unchanged side, but Hayden Carter and Harry Pickering will definitely not play a part as they are both sidelined with muscular injuries.

The stats

After avoiding defeat in his first three games as Birmingham boss, Mowbray has seen his side lose their last three in all competitions, albeit all of those were away from home.

The Blues lost just one of their first nine home league games, but have failed to win their last five.

His former club, Rovers, had gone eight without a victory in the Championship before Saturday's win over Stoke.

The Championship's top scorer, Blackburn's Sammie Szmodics, scored twice as the Lancashire side won November's reverse fixture 4-2.


Tony Mowbray is still to consistently get the best out of his Birmingham squad
Tony Mowbray is still to consistently get the best out of his Birmingham squad

Eustace's predecessor, Jon Dahl Tomasson, was often praised by Blackburn fans for his adventurous tactics, but when things went wrong, the Dane struggled to control things.

Eustace will look to inject some additional structure into his team's tactics, something his Birmingham side had in abundance but have struggled to display consistently under first Rooney and now Mowbray.

The Blues are just three points above the relegation places, four points adrift of Rovers and the visitors could benefit from the added impetus of a fresh voice in the dugout.

Mowbray's honeymoon period looks over, although he may point to his team's three recent defeats all coming away from St Andrew's.

However, Birmingham have failed to win their last five home games in the Championship and Rovers could grab a sixth Championship away victory of the season.

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