Birmingham v Brugge: Match Preview

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Birmingham v Brugge;
Europa League;
St Andrews;
Thurs, 3rd Nov; 2005 KO


Team news

Brimingham could have Wade Elliott and Pablo Ibanez back in the squad after the pair recovered from a calf injury and concussion respectively. Morgaro Gomis (groin) and Jordan Mutch (ankle) are out of contention.

Brugge will be without coach Adrie Koster, after he was sacked during the week.


Hughton seeing European benefits

Chris Hughton believes that being a part of the Europa League has been surprisingly beneficial for the Birmingham squad, with the manager insisting that the players are hoping to keep their winning momentum in both Europe and the Npower Championship.

Birmingham are currently second in the Group H table of the tournament, and are two points clear of third-placed Braga. The side are also mid-table domestically, and have won five of their last six ties.

And Hughton believes that the side are working well to stand up on both levels, though he admits that a lack of injuries is giving the side a little bit of luck as well.

"There have certainly been some real benefits from it [Europa League], which have been that it has given us some continuity, it's allowed us to use the squad and I think that's probably the area that has benefited us,” he explained.

“For us it has gone well, I have been able to make some changes and it's allowed us to have some really good competition in the squad.

“At the moment it's healthy, where it becomes a little bit more difficult is the period of time you go through when there's a few injuries. At the moment we're in decent shape."

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