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Birmingham City v Reading FC: Match Preview

Ahead of the first game of the season Phil brings you all the match information you need including the pre-season form of our opponents.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Birmingham City FC

Pre-season form: LLLWDDW

New signings Maikel Kieftenbeld and Jacques Maghoma will hope to be involved after joining over the summer from FC Groningen and Sheffield Wednesday respectively. Another summer addition, goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak is set to start in goal after the former Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion stopper signed for The Blues following his release by Wolves. Birmingham will also have Arsenal loanee Jon Toral available after the youngster scored a hat-trick for the development side against Tottenham in midweek.

Birmingham City vs. Reading:8 August 2015 15:00 KO St Andrew's, BirminghamReferee: Peter Bankes

Reading FC

Pre-season form: DLDWD

Garath McCleary is set to miss this season's opener with a calf injury picked whilst representing Jamaica in the Gold Cup. Pavel Pogrebnyak  will also miss Saturday's game after picking up a knock in Reading's final pre-season game against Espanyol last weekend. All Reading's new signings are fit and available for selection for Steve Clarke as he enters his first full season as manager.

Lineups From Last Game

Home: Bond (Al-Habsi 60), Gunter, Obita, Hector (McShane 60), Ferdinand, Tshibola (Fosu HT), Norwood, Quinn (Akpan 74), Williams, Blackman (Cox 60), Pogrebnyak (Sa 25)

Away: Kuszcazak; Caddis, Spector, Morrison, Grounds; Cotterill (Arthur 84), Gleeson, Kieftenbald (Davis 65), Gray (Maghoma 72); Shinnie (Toral 65); Donaldson (Novak 78)

What The Opposition Think

Had we kept hold of the loanees we had last season, I would be more hopeful of us pushing for the play-offs, but with the general calmness and stability that Gary Rowett has given us since taking over, I'm confident we won't go down.

Last Five Meetings

22 Apr 2015 Reading 0-1 Birmingham City (League Championship)

13 Dec 2014 Birmingham City 6-1 Reading (League Championship)

22 Mar 2014 Birmingham City 1-2 Reading (League Championship)

28 Sep 2013 Reading 2-0 Birmingham City (League Championship)

28 Apr 2012 Birmingham City 2-0 Reading (League Championship)

Head To Head

Reading games v Birmingham City:

Games won: 10

Games drawn: 10

Games lost: 10

YouTube History

Andre Bikey was the unlikely hero in this relegation six-pointer from 2008.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MElCVcMXvj0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Prediction

Birmingham City 1 - 1 Reading