Barnsley V Birmingham at Oakwell Stadium : Match Preview

23 December 2012 12:33
Barnsley V Birmingham - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Cranie blow for Barnsley

Barnsley are set to be without defender Martin Cranie for their Boxing Day clash with Birmingham at Oakwell.

Cranie hobbled off after 20 minutes of Saturday's crucial 2-1 success at Millwall with an ankle injury and his replacement at the Den, Scott Wiseman, will retain the centre-back berth alongside Stephen Foster against Blues.

Leading scorer Craig Davies missed the weekend match in south London through injury and he is unlikely to be fit, while on-loan Hungary international Akos Buzsaky is out with a hamstring strain.

Teenager Reuben Noble-Lazarus (ankle) and on-loan striker Emile Sinclair (dead-leg) are also expected to remain on the sidelines, while former Chelsea midfielder Jacob Mellis is battling to recover from the dead-leg and severe bruising that has ruled him out of the last three matches.

Club stalwart Bobby Hassell was handed a rare start alongside Stephen Dawson, David Perkins and Jim O'Brien in the Reds' midfield and helped Keith Hill's side register their first win in 12 matches.

Chris Dagnall was also recalled, in place of the injured Davies, and is set to keep his place up front alongside on-loan Marcus Tudgay, who netted the stoppage-time winner at Millwall, his third goal for the club since his arrival from Nottingham Forest.

Paul Robinson is likely to be the only Birmingham player who returns for the trip to Oakwell.

The left-back missed Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Burnley due to a sickness bug which has has affected members of Blues' squad and even manager Lee Clark.

Clark was forced to name seven teenagers in his starting XI at the weekend with severe injury problems hampering his options and he is not expecting any to return at Oakwell.

Top scorer Marlon King will miss the festive period with a knee problem, right-back Paul Caddis (hamstring) is hoping to return on New Year's Day while Papa Bouba Diop (hamstring) is sidelined for three to four weeks.

Peter Lovenkrands injured his calf in the warm-up prior to the weekend's draw and is also missing, along with Jonathan Spector (ankle), Darren Ambrose, David Murphy, Stephen Carr (all knee) and Akwasi Asante (hamstring).

Blues' injury-hit side will be out for revenge against the Tykes following their humiliating 5-0 reverse at St Andrew's in September.

Source: PA