The Reading Chronicle spoke to Birmingham fan James Jenkinson ahead of this weekends clash.

How will Birmingham set up on Saturday?

Blues travel the Madejski Stadium a much different outfit to what Reading have seen over the past few seasons. With a change in philosophy pre-season and a need for control of possession with quick attacking passages.

Expect Birmingham to come and play very open, expansive football and look to try to dominate large parts of the game. Several new arrivals have helped add to this philosophy and with Clotet favouring a 4-2-3-1/4-4-2 style of play it should make for an entertaining game.

Birmingham is going through a bit of a dip in form at the moment, with no wins since October – what have you made of the side’s recent performances?

The lack of wins has been a slight concern but that being said the fixtures have not been kind to us this month and performances for most parts have still been pleasing with a lack of potency up front the obvious Achilles heel at the moment for Pep Clotet’s side.

Draws away to Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield Town have been extremely pleasing with a very positive performance at Cardiff despite losing 4-2 the 25 shots showed more of a lack of clinical finishing more than a negative performance.

Those away games have shown that our fortunes away from home are hopefully changing. However, a 0-1 home defeat to Fulham and most recently the draw to Millwall on Saturday have shown a real lack of firepower.

Who is the key man for Birmingham?

There have been several stand out players this season and mainly some of the newcomers over the summer. The likes of Fran Villalba from Valencia and Ivan Sunjic from Dinamo Zagreb have been big-name signings for the club who certainly haven’t disappointed.

However, the two key players so far would have to be Dan Crowley and Jude Bellingham. Crowley arrived from Willem II in the summer for a bargain £750,000.

The diminutive attacking midfielder has 4 assists to his name already and is the heartbeat of everything that the side do going forward. Bellingham is the jewel in the crown at the minute for the team and the club.

The 16-year-old has broken onto the scene this season with 2 goals from midfield and its easy to see why Europe’s elite have made him a target.

Birmingham appear to enjoy playing a the Madejski, having not lost in the league at the ground since 2013/14. Do you think it’s a good chance to get back to winning ways on Saturday?

If you’d have asked me this before Saturday I’d have said I’d be fairly confident of coming away with something. However, a rather flat performance to Milwall and a rampant George Puscas have cast doubt in my mind.

No game away from home is easy in this league and Reading to have plenty of quality in their ranks with Puscas, Swift, Yiadom and Ejaria it would be a game where another point on the road would be seen as a positive. This mixed with a serious lack of goal threat up front makes for uncertainty. The likes of Lukas Jutkiewicz and Alvaro Gimenez simply haven’t found any form at all.

What have you made of Reading under Mark Bowen?

He’s made a very impressive start to life in the hot seat. An appointment which surprised many. Blues fans know Bowen well from his time as Steve Bruce’s right-hand man. 13 points from 21 is a very good return with some 9/12 of those coming at home.

We will see if this is the new manager syndrome or not but it’s certainly put him in good stead for the rest of the season and I’m sure he’ll guide Reading away from the relegation scrap.

Score prediction?

With the home form of Reading as of late and our slight upturn In away form, I’m going for a 1-1 draw. Both teams possess bags of quality but I see this one being very much a game of cancelling each other out. A draw for us would be a great result but I can’t see anything more than a point at this one.