Meet the opposition | Birmingham City

7th July
First team
Birmingham City

As Swansea City prepare to head to Birmingham City on Wednesday, we take a closer look at the Blues.

What’s their story?

Birmingham Jeremie Bela

Birmingham have spent the majority of their 141-year history in the top-flight, but are currently in the midst of their ninth-straight season in the Championship after dropping out of the Premier League in 2011.

They have finished higher than 10th on only one occasion during that time and they have battled relegation in three of the previous six campaigns, with former Swan Garry Monk guiding them to safety in the previous two seasons – the latter after a nine-point deduction had put them in danger of the drop.

The St Andrew's club have won two FA Cups and two League Cups, with the most recent of those successes coming in 2011 when they stunned Arsenal in the League Cup final at Wembley as Obafemi Martins scored a last-gasp winner.

How’s their form?

Lukas Jutkiewicz

Challenging, the Blues are nine games without a win in the Champions with six draws and three defeats in that time.

Since the season restart they have taken two points from a possible 12, losing their last two games against Huddersfield and Fulham after draws with West Brom and Hull.

This run of form as seen them fall to within five points of the relegation zone, although there are four teams between them and the bottom three.

Who’s the boss?

Pep Clotet

Pep Clotet. The Spaniard is a familiar face to Swansea City fans, having spent just over two years in SA1.

Born just outside Barcelona, the Spaniard originally joined the Swans as academy consultant in November 2013 before stepping up to assist Garry Monk following the departure of Michael Laudrup. 

He helped the Swans to an eighth-place finish in the Premier League in 2015, but left in December of the same year following Monk’s exit.

Having attained his UEFA Pro licence in 2003 at the age of just 26, he coached at Espanyol for five years before becoming assistant-manager to Roland Nilsson at Malmo and then had spells at Halmstads, Norway's Viking FK and Malaga before his move to South Wales.

Since leaving SA1 he has worked with Monk at Leeds and Birmingham – either side of a stint as boss at Oxford United – before taking over as caretaker head coach at St Andrew’s this summer. He is set to leave the Blues at the end of the season.

Who are the key men?

Birmingham Jude Bellingham

Experienced forward Lukas Jutkiewicz has led the way for the Blues this season, topping their goalscoring charts with 13 goals so far this season.

The loan arrival of Scott Hogan from Aston Villa has also boosted their goalscoring threat, with the striker having netted seven goals in his short time at St Andrew’s.

Teenage midfielder Jude Bellingham has enjoyed a superb campaign that has seen the 16-year-old linked with a host of Premier League suitors, while Gary Gardner provides experience in the middle of the park.

At the back, Jake Clarke-Salter has had a good spell on loan from Chelsea, while veteran Lee Camp is the man between the sticks.