Fitness boost

The return of Jacques Maghoma and the improved fitness of Kerim Mrabti for this weekend's trip to Charlton Athletic has given Birmingham City a boost.

And there is also some positive news about Cheick Keita after the Frenchman's move after being struck in the U23 game at Bristol City.

Jefferson Montero – and longtime absentee Maikel Kieftenbeld, alongside head coach Pep Clotet, have virtually a whole crew to choose from at The Valley.

Maghoma is no longer visible since the first day of the season, while Mrabti – who has recently appeared in Brentford – comes closer to readiness after the bankruptcy against Stoke.



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McEachran at the latest

It is decided if Josh McEachran will be offered a deal at the end of next week.

The former midfielder of Chelsea and Brentford has trained during the international break with blues and played on Monday for the U23 national team of the club.

After his release by Brentford, he is no longer under contract and was connected in the summer with Aston Villa and Sheffield.

However, he remains a free agent and Clotet leads the rule over the 26-year-old – with the help of Chelsea loan manager Tore Andre Flo.

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Bowyer on blues

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer is pleased about the visit of the blues this weekend. The game is the first time Bowyer has played as a coach against one of his former clubs.

"Birmingham will be a different challenge than before, and I'm looking forward to it," he said.

"They are not in possession of the ball and they quickly take on their form, so we need to take them down, they have a good striker and are good at set pieces, so we have to be patient and move the ball fast.

"As a player, It's better to go up and down The Valley, and I know the Birmingham fans are going to make a noise, so hopefully we can show more that day because we need them." They make a hell of a difference. "

Bowyer also announced that he asked Aston Villa boss Dean Smith for advice this summer.

He told talkSPORT, "I spoke with Dean Smith the previous season and asked him if you could give any advice.

"He said try to win every game in this division, I would have done that anyway, but it's nice to hear that from a colleague because that's my mentality."



Lee Bowyer

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Doubts about the injury

Charlton star striker Lyle Taylor is in doubt for Saturday. The striker scored five goals in the first six matches of the Addicks this season and is to a great extent the team's talisman.

He was traveling during the international break with the national team of Montserrat on Saturday and denied the victory of the CONCACAF Nations League against the Dominican Republic.

However, he returned early after a strike back to the UK and missed on Tuesday a 1-1 draw with Saint Lucia.

"Lyle came back with a light knock. We just put it in a brace as a precaution, "Bowyer said.

"But we will try to bring him back to the court tomorrow, hopefully he will come through the OC and be available for Saturday."

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Juke's challenge

It was a maxim that served Birmingham City very well for a few years – especially against Aston Villa.

Feed The Hors and he will score.

This is exactly what happened twice when Geoff Horsfield etched his name into blues folklore with goals in each of the 2002/3 derby matches.

Horsfield is all about feeding the homeless, and its charitable foundation started the year after Birmingham City's entry.



Harlee Dean, Geoff Horsfield and Lukas Jutkiewicz feed the homeless in Birmingham

The partnership was renewed and Horsfield was again joined by blues players distributing sandwiches and toiletries downtown on Monday night.

He did so with club captain Harlee Dean and star striker Lukas Jutkiewicz – a strong center forward writing his own chapter in the history of blues.

Horsfield recognizes the similarity – but presented the 30-year-old with a challenge.

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