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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 Bournemouth 22 42
2 Ipswich Town 22 41
3 Brentford 22 40
4 Middlesbrough 22 39
5 Derby County 22 39
6 Watford 22 38
7 Norwich City 22 34
8 Blackburn Rovers 22 34
9 Nottingham Forest 22 31
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 22 31
11 Cardiff City 22 30
12 Charlton Athletic 22 30
13 Fulham 22 28
14 Sheffield Wednesday 22 28
15 Birmingham City 22 28
16 Bolton Wanderers 22 26
17 Reading 22 25
18 Leeds United 22 24
19 Rotherham United 22 24
20 Huddersfield Town 22 24
21 Millwall 22 23
22 Brighton and Hove Albion 22 19
23 Wigan Athletic 22 17
24 Blackpool 22 13