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

Burnley Burnley vs Birmingham City Birm'ham

Burnley 1

D Ings (74)

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Birm'ham 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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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Watford 45 88
2 Bournemouth 44 84
3 Middlesbrough 45 84
4 Norwich City 45 83
5 Ipswich Town 45 78
6 Derby County 45 77
7 Brentford 45 75
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 45 75
9 Blackburn Rovers 45 64
10 Charlton Athletic 45 60
11 Birmingham City 45 60
12 Nottingham Forest 45 59
13 Cardiff City 45 59
14 Sheffield Wednesday 45 59
15 Leeds United 45 55
16 Huddersfield Town 45 54
17 Fulham 45 52
18 Bolton Wanderers 44 51
19 Reading 44 47
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 45 46
21 Rotherham United 44 42
22 Millwall 45 41
23 Wigan Athletic 45 39
24 Blackpool 45 25