Aston Villa travel to St Andrews to play against Birmingham City in the Championship on Sunday, with the local rivals to clash.

This promises to be a close encounter as just two points separate 10th placed Birmingham from 14th place Villa.

Dean Smith’s Villa side, who have been very inconsistent this season, need nothing less than a win in order to preserve their outside chances of qualifying for the promotion playoffs.

They head into the game seven points adrift of sixth-place Derby County, who occupy the final promotion playoff spot.

Villa have a good record against the Blues and have not lost a league game against them since March 2005, when Emile Heskey and Julian Gray scored.

The Villans have lost just one out of their previous 15 matches in all competitions played against Birmingham, as reported by BBC Sport. 

Each of the last three league games played between the two sides at St Andrew’s have been draws.

Villa also won the reverse fixture 4-2 in November.

Both sides however have injury issues, which they will have to contend with.

The home side will have to make do without the services of on-loan Villa midfielder Gary Gardner as well as Maxime Colin due to a hamstring injury, as reported by BBC Sport. 

Villa will be without the services of defender Tommy Elphick, who suffered a foot injury during the win against Derby County.

They will have midfielder John McGinn available again as he has now completed his suspension.

The return of the 24-year-old is likely to result in Glenn Whelan being demoted to the Villa bench.

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