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English Football League - Championship

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24 April 2024

A comprehensive look at our penultimate Sky Bet Championship fixture against Birmingham City

- Huddersfield Town vs Birmingham City
- Saturday 27 April 2024; 3pm
- Penultimate 2023/24 Sky Bet Championship fixture

Taking on the Blues in West Yorkshire this weekend, Town welcome Birmingham City to the John Smith's Stadium for their penultimate fixture of the 2023/24 Sky Bet Championship campaign.

Playing at home for the final time this season, André Breitenreiter's Terriers take on Birmingham City - who currently sit just one place above Town in the relegation zone.


Starting their current campaign under John Eustace, the former Blues boss won five of 11 fixtures in charge until he was replaced by Wayne Rooney in October 2023.

Winning two games during his tenure in the West Midlands, Rooney was dismissed in January this year, following a 3-0 loss to Leeds United on New Year's Day.

After a tumultuous start to the season, the side turned to Tony Mowbray who led the First Team for seven games until a medical diagnosis in February meant he had to step away from his duties for the time being.

Now 22nd in the Sky Bet Championship, Birmingham City sit just one place and two points ahead of Town - having won just 12 games this season, drawing 10, and losing 22.

Winning two of their last 10 fixtures, both of these victories have come under Interim Manager Gary Rowett, who had seen the Blues climb out of the relegation zone prior to Sheffield Wednesday's 3-1 win at Ewood Park last weekend.


Gary Rowett 16x9.jpg

Appointed in January, Tony Mowbray made the move to the West Midlands following his departure from fellow Sky Bet Championship side Sunderland a month prior.

Starting his managerial career at Portman Road, Mowbray worked alongside George Burley, before taking over as Interim Manager of Ipswich Town upon Burley's dismissal.

Appointed Manager of Hibernian FC in July 2004, the former defender made the move to West Bromwich Albion in 2006, where he remained for three years before returning to Scotland to take charge of Celtic - a post in which he managed just 45 games for the Bhoys.

Going on to take charge of Middlesbrough, Coventry City, and Blackburn - spending the majority of his managerial career with the latter - the 60-year-old arrived in the North East in 2022 before being appointed Manager of Birmingham City in January 2024.

However, following a medical diagnosis, it was announced in March that Mowbray would take a formal medical leave of absence until the start of pre-season 2024/25.

In his absence, the Blues appointed former Millwall Manager Gary Rowett as Interim Manager for their remaining eight Sky Bet Championship fixtures.

Managing the West Midlands side between 2014 and 2016, Rowett returns alongside First Team Coaches Paul Robinson and Dave Carolan - both of whom share history with the Club and worked alongside Rowett during his previous managerial position.

Spending the majority of his career with the Blues, the former right-back made just shy of 100 appearances for the Club, scoring eight times in two seasons and twice being named in the PFA's Team of the Year.

Following retirement, Rowett began his career at the Pirelli Stadium with Burton Albion before taking charge of Birmingham in 2014. Later managing Derby County, Stoke City, and, most recently, Millwall, the 50-year-old has overseen more than 500 games to date.


It ended all square in South Yorkshire last weekend, as the Millers and the Blues fought out a goalless draw at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Despite Jay Stansfield finding the back of the net during the second half, he was ultimately met with a late offside flag to deny Birmingham taking all three points back to the West Midlands.

Previous Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Ruddy; Buchanan, Sanderson, Bielik, Laird; Šunjić, Paik; Anderson, Roberts, Burke; Stansfield


Generally lining up in a 4-2-3-1, the Blues have rarely deviated from this structure throughout the entirety of their current campaign.

Often allowing Jay Stansfield to play as a lone striker, with Juninho Bacuna and Tyler Roberts either alongside or just behind, Birmingham's formation builds on a strong backline with midfielders who can drop back or press higher depending on the needs of the game.


Jay Stansfield

Jay Stansfield 16x9.jpg

Starting his career with Exeter City's Academy, Stansfield made the move to Fulham as a 16-year-old. However, he returned to his old club in 2022, where he excelled in League One - scoring nine times and assisting on eight occasions.

Joining the Blues last summer on a season-long loan from Premier League side Fulham, the 21-year-old has made an appearance in all but three of his side's fixtures during their current campaign.

Moving to the West Midlands in August 2023, the centre-forward has found the back of the net 12 times since then, with three of those goals coming in his last five games.

Juninho Bacuna

Juninho Bacuna 16x9.jpg

A familiar face in West Yorkshire, Bacuna made over 100 appearances for the Terriers between 2018 and 2021.

Appearing in all but one of Birmingham City's fixtures this season, the 26-year-old has so far scored on seven occasions, also setting up a further six during their current campaign.

A product of FC Groningen, the Dutch midfielder made the move to Yorkshire from his native land, before joining Scottish side Rangers in 2021, and finally returning to England when he signed for the Blues in January 2022.

Krystian Bielik

Krystian Bielik 16x9.jpg

Poland international Bielik joined Birmingham City on a permanent basis in 2023, having previously enjoyed two spells on loan at the club in 2017 and 2022.

Moving to England to join Arsenal in 2015, the defensive midfielder came through the Lech Poznań Academy before joining rivals Legia Warsaw to kickstart his career. Never making a Premier League appearance for the Gunners, the 26-year-old instead spent time on loan at Walsall, Charlton Athletic, and Birmingham.

Signing for Derby County in 2019, he suffered two serious knee injuries that kept him sidelined for a significant period during his time with the Rams, and, following their relegation, he joined the Blues last summer for an undisclosed fee.


Head Coach André Breitenreiter and a First Team player will speak to the press ahead of our penultimate Sky Bet Championship fixture on Friday 26 April from 1pm. You can watch the full press conference live via our profile on X or via HTTV on YouTube.


Back at home on Saturday, Town will play in their traditional blue and white stripes for the final time this season as we take on the Blues - and there's currently 30% off the replica kit both in store and online! CLICK HERE to get yours now!

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Audio Match Passes for this fixture are available at just £2.50 each, giving Town supporters who are unable to join us on the day full live coverage of the game. CLICK HERE to book yours!

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Match Reports


27 April 2024

Huddersfield Town unable to score winner despite improved second half performance

- Huddersfield Town 1-1 Birmingham City
- Rhys Healey scores second half equaliser
- Point unlikely not enough in Club's survival persuit

Despite a spirited second half performance, a point will likely be too little as results elswhere all but confirmed a finish within the bottom three.

Nerves and noise was the overwhelming emotion at kick-off, with both sets of players and supporters aware of the magnitude of the game and potential result. With three changes made by André Breitenreiter, two of those in Rhys Healey and Danny Ward tried to link on the break early, but the away defence stood tall to knock away any potential danger for a throw in.

Brushing aside and defending an early free kick for Birmingham that came from a Rudoni foul in the final third, David Kasumu rushed forward and lashed his own cross-shot in the box which was deflected behind for a corner. Watching the first ball in from Rudoni knocked away, Town regathered possession and crossed again, with captain Michał Helik found at the far post. Looking to add to his nine goal haul for the season on the same afternoon he became the Club’s fourth ever back-to-back Hargreaves Memorial Player of the Year winner, his stretched effort fell kindly for the well positioned John Ruddy.

Responding with a chance of their own, Birmingham’s forwards linked well in the final third, working an opening for Keshi Anderson in the right hand channel. Not connecting with his effort at all well, his strike dribbled tamely wide of the near post, with Lee Nicholls watching it all the way.

While there were odd moments of hesitation, neither side was showing signs of the occasion getting on top of them, with each attacking with purpose. Attempting to get around the back of the Town defence with Ethan Laird, great defending from Alex Matos shut the move down, with the Birmingham man’s frustration getting the better of him as he shoved the midfielder in the back after losing the ball. Heading straight up the other end of the pitch, Matos almost turned from denier to supplier, with his chip landing with Jack Rudoni, who’s half volley bounced marginally high and wide.

Defending well when required, including from consecutive corners for Birmingham, the Terriers remained committed in attack, playing with imagination to try and unlock the deep defence. Spotting a great onward run from Turton behind the back line, David Kasumu almost executed a perfect driven ball over the top for Turton to cross from, but the returning full-back just couldn’t make contact as he leapt to connect on the volley. Drawing desperate fouls from the away side, too, Jack Rudoni was caught late out wide by Buchanan, who found himself booked as a result.

Luck, quality or both would seemingly be the difference, and Birmingham City thought it was on their side as Kōji Miyoshi had an effort from close range at the far post. Watching his own cross bounce kindly back to him, his volley was well saved by Nicholls who’s reflexes got Town out of trouble. Unable to make the same intervention moments later, Miyoshi made no difference in a similar position of the pitch, turning home a cross first time into the opposite corner of the goal to give his side a precious lead.

With two minutes added time indicated, the Terriers could make no reply before the half-time whistle was blown, giving themselves a tall task to reverse the scoreline after the break.

Roaring out of the blocks after the break with neither side making a change, the Terriers wasted no time to start their fightback. A move started by a wonderful ball forward from Turton to Rudoni taking a number of away midfielders out of the game, Town’s number eight kept his composure down the wing before cutting the ball back. Perfectly placed and weighted for Rhys Healey, the forward swept home past Ruddy first time, giving the game and second half a completely different look and feel.

Riding the noise and emotion from the crowd, Healey could’ve scored again within seconds of his first. Finding himself chasing down an awkward bouncing ball over the top, he could only knock it into the chest of the oncoming John Ruddy, who did well to make the chance even harder for the Town forward.

Pushing themselves with the crowd at their back, the Terriers forced a number of dead balls with Birmingham City conceding corner kicks and free kicks as they looked to defend their own box. Unable to make them count despite the momentum being in their favour, results elsewhere had turned to mean anything but three points would all but seal Town’s fate in the bottom three of the division. With the away side still showing signs of danger of the break, too, things were far from certain, but Brodie Spencer made an intervention overlapping two of his own men to win the ball back down the wing, getting fouled as a result.

Introducing both Sorba Thomas and Ben Wiles from the bench with Josh Koroma and Alex Matos making way, Head Coach André Breitenreiter made attacking changes to give the Terriers more bite in the final third, later taking Ollie Turton off as well to send Bojan Radulovic up the field. Despite those changes, the away side did create the next chance of the game, with Jay Stansfield rolling an effort across the face of goal and wide.

Giving their all but falling short, Town saw a strike wide from Ward before another series of set-plays came their way in added time. Sending goalkeeper Lee Nicholls forward, he remained in the opposition box for three consecutive corner kicks, but even with the box packed, it wasn’t to be, and Matty Pearson’s off balance header over was ultimately the final action of the game. Another draw in a series of fixtures this season the side will be questioning how they haven’t won, the table and mathematics remain against us heading into the final weekend.

TOWN'S TEAM (3-5-2)

Lee Nicholls; Matty Pearson, Michał Helik, Brodie Spencer; Ollie Turton (Bojan Radulovic 79'), David Kasumu, Alex Matos (Ben Wiles 68'), Jack Rudoni, Josh Koroma (Sorba Thomas 58'); Danny Ward, Rhys Healey


Chris Maxwell; Delano Burgzorg, Jaheim Headley, Tom Edwards, Ben Jackson, Tom Iorpenda


Rhys Healey 47'


Jack Rudoni 80'


22,001 (2,339)

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