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Birmingham City have given themselves a huge mountain to climb following a hugely disappointing first-half of the season, however it looks as though they have their climbing boots on and going on recent performances we wouldn't be surprised were they to claw their way out of the mire and into relative safety towards the end of the season. As things stand, the Blues sit firmly in the relegation zone with just a woeful Sunderland side keeping them from the foot of the table, however Steve Cotterill's men helped their cause with league wins over Leeds United and Reading in their two outings after Boxing Day and while they were thumped 3-0 at home to promotion-chasing Derby County last time out, it is clear that the West Midlands side are moving in the right direction.
Nevertheless they remain very much in the danger zone as things stand and they desperately need to return to winning ways when they head to Deepdale on Saturday afternoon, however do they have what it takes to return home with the three points in the bag?
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Preston North End sit in the top half of the Championship table and they will be hopeful of clinching for themselves a place in the play-offs this season, however Alex Neil's men have struggled to maintain any sort of consistency and while they have enjoyed some excellent results - most notably their recent win at promotion-hopefuls Cardiff City - this inconsistency will once again likely cost them a place in the top six at the end of the campaign.
Indeed Preston fans have hardly become accustomed to watching their side win on home soil with just one win at Deepdale since early September. This is a good chance for the visitors to further help their cause and given that the Blues have managed two draws and a win from their last four matches on the road, we wouldn't be in the slightest but surprised were they to head home with a point in the bag on Saturday afternoon.
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