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Sky Bet Championship

Turf Moor (ATT 13,221) 3rd April 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: J Waugh

Burnley Burnley vs Birmingham City Birmingham

Burnley 1

D Ings (74)

ft

Birmingham 3

M King (11)
J Mutch (75)
D Murphy (88)

Burnley v Birmingham preview

Last Updated: 03/04/12 9:46am

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Austin: Likely to lead the line for Clarets

Austin: Likely to lead the line for Clarets

Team news for Tuesday night's Championship clash between Burnley and Birmingham City at Turf Moor.

Burnley boss Eddie Howe will be without Martin Paterson.

The striker limped out of Saturday's 5-1 win over Portsmouth with a hamstring injury, just six weeks after returning from a similar problem.

Paterson joins fellow forward and top-scorer Jay Rodriguez on the sidelines, with Rodriguez still nursing a hip problem.

But Charlie Austin is likely to lead the line against Blues after he scored his first hat-trick for the club as a substitute on Saturday.

As well as a depleted strike force, Howe also has fitness issues to contend with at the back.

Defender Ben Mee is struggling with a back spasm sustained at Fratton Park while Danny Lafferty is struggling with a hamstring strain.

Birmingham boss Chris Hughton boasts the same squad of players for the trip as he did for Friday's 3-1 triumph at Doncaster.

Midfielder Keith Fahey (groin) will miss out at Turf Moor but is "very close" to making his return, according to Hughton. The Irishman could well be back in the frame for Saturday's home clash against Crystal Palace.

Defensive trio Stephen Carr (knee), Jonathan Spector (thigh) and Pablo Ibanez (hamstring) are also unavailable once again.

Ibanez, like Fahey, is closing in on his return while Spector is making good progress and is not far off. Carr, however, has been forced to undergo a small operation and will do well to play again this season.

The encounter is Blues' game in hand on the rest of their promotion rivals and Hughton is aiming to strengthen their grip on a play-off place, but he acknowledges the clash is not the be all and end all with seven games remaining.

"If we lost at Burnley and then won our next three, would we settle for that? Probably, I think the answer is yes," he said. "If we're able to get something from the game, even a draw, it gets us another point. This is an opportunity for us."

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Leicester City 42 90
2 Burnley 42 83
3 Derby County 42 75
4 Queens Park Rangers 42 73
5 Wigan Athletic 41 67
6 Reading 42 64
7 Brighton and Hove Albion 42 64
8 Ipswich Town 42 64
9 Bournemouth 42 62
10 Blackburn Rovers 42 60
11 Nottingham Forest 42 59
12 Middlesbrough 42 58
13 Watford 41 57
14 Bolton Wanderers 42 54
15 Sheffield Wednesday 42 50
16 Leeds United 42 50
17 Huddersfield Town 42 46
18 Birmingham City 41 43
19 Doncaster Rovers 42 43
20 Blackpool 42 42
21 Charlton Athletic 41 41
22 Millwall 42 40
23 Barnsley 42 39
24 Yeovil Town 42 36