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Our unbeaten under-23s currently sit top of the Professional Development League but by the time we kick off tomorrow at Birmingham we will have dropped into second place.

Nottingham Forest, who have two games in hand, currently sit one point behind us with a better goal difference. Should they beat Leeds or even draw, they will move ahead of us. A defeat for Forest would see Leeds, currently fourth, move into top place although no matter what the result in that game, a win for Burnley against third place Birmingham would ensure we went into Christmas at the top of the league.

This game was originally scheduled for Friday last week at Leamington, but was moved recently to Birmingham’s training ground tomorrow lunchtime. That has given us the opportunity to field Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson who is making a return from injury.

He played the first three league games of the season but was forced off with an injury in the third of those games at Wolves. He returned for the Everton home game in early October but then suffered a hamstring injury on international duty and hasn’t featured since.

Sean Dyche confirmed yesterday that he’d played 60 minutes in a behind closed doors game and it is expected he’ll play the full game tomorrow as he builds up his fitness ahead of the Christmas schedule.

This will be a tough game for us. Birmingham are currently two points behind us in third place and we’ve both played 15 games. Birmingham, with eight, have won more games than us but they’ve been beaten four times while we haven’t suffered a league defeat since the final game of last season.

Both previous away games against Birmingham have ended in draws. Two seasons ago it was 2-2 with a Remeao Hutton own goal followed by a goal from Jamie Thomas. Last season the scorer was Tunde Bayode in a 1-1 draw.

Tomorrow’s game kicks off at 12 noon at Birmingham’s Trillion Trophy Training Centre.


EDIT: Nottingham Forest drew their game 1-1 against Leeds which sees them go to the top with 29 points, ahead of Burnley on goal difference. Leeds, now on 28 points, are third with Birmingham in fourth place with 27 points.

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