On Wednesday night, league-leading Burnley travel to Birmingham City in an effort to extend their unbeaten streak to twelve games.
Birmingham is in terrific form right now after two victories, but a matchup with Vincent Kompany’s team could be their toughest test yet this year.
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Since Tahith Chong and Krystian Bielik were added to John Eustace’s team in early September, Preston North End have become a completely different team.
Blues only managed to accrue five points in their first seven Championship games, but they have since accrued 14 to move into the top half of the second-tier standings.
The inventiveness and tenacity of Chong and Bielek, respectively, as well as a well-organized defense that has only let up 12 goals in 14 games, have been crucial to such a turnaround in fortunes.
At the MKM Stadium, Hull City defeated the Tigers thanks to goals from Troy Deeney on the penalty spot and Juninho Bacuna with a thunderbolt.
A deflated Hull team will find it challenging to host the league leaders on Wednesday night, but if the Second City club succeeds in doing so, the home supporters may begin to dream of more than simply mid-table safety this season.
Burnley’s football culture has altered under Vincent Kompany as they attempt to return to the Premier League after being relegated last season.
The Clarets currently lead the Championship with 25 points after 14 games, putting them in first place in terms of possession rankings under the former Manchester City defender. The Lancashire-based team has only experienced defeat once this season and has the division’s joint-best attacking record with 24 goals scored. Only Sheffield United can match that total.
With seven goals in 12 appearances this season, 33-year-old forward Jay Rodriguez is enjoying life back in the Championship. All indications are that the Englishman will surpass the 22 goals he scored for West Bromwich Albion at this level in the 2018–19 season.
Ian Maatsen, a fullback on loan from Chelsea, has been Burnley’s top creator with four assists. The Dutchman made the transition from playing for Coventry City last season to contributing to an automatic promotion push with ease.
Burnley is playing brilliantly as they head to St Andrew’s, but Birmingham won’t be as easily defeated as Swansea was on Saturday.
Eustace’s team has performed admirably against the higher-ranked teams in the Championship, and Blues will embrace the challenge of playing the Clarets under the lights.