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Defensive injury worries ease for Birmingham

Birmingham’s injury worries have eased up as they prepare to host Preston in a bid to maintain their unbeaten home record.

The Blues have not suffered a loss at St Andrew’s this season and are strengthened by the return of defensive trio Jonathan Grounds, Cheick Keita and Agustin Medina.

Spanish midfielder Fran Villalba has also recovered from the slight groin strain that left him sidelined during last weekend’s trip to Charlton.

Ecuadorian winger Jefferson Montero (thigh) and Dutch midfielder Maikel Kieftenbeld (knee) are the only names remaining on the injury list.

Similarly, Preston have more strength in depth due to the return of several injured players.

Defender Andrew Hughes has made a comeback, as has striker David Nugent.

Twenty-four-year-old midfielder Ben Pearson has recovered from a virus and is available for selection.

Captain Tom Clarke is expected to be sidelined until October with a knee injury, while forward Louis Moult will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing an operation on his ACL.

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