Chris Wilder believes Birmingham City will be 'tough nut to crack' at St Andrews on Wednesday night.
Speaking prior to the clash in the midlands, Wilder remarked: "Without their points deduction Birmingham would be just outside the play-offs.
"It has obviously affected Garry (Monk) and his players because they are a big club in the division and they'd have wanted to strengthen.
"It certainly goes unnoticed by a lot of people that they still have a lot of good players, Che (Adams) deserves the accolades, he's had a top season, and they have the likes Jutkiewicz, Maghoma, Jota and the Gardner brothers."
Wilder added: "They've had a settled side, they've spent big money on some of the defenders too and they are a tough nut to crack, they will have been disappointed not to have won here.
"They are a top ten side in the division and perhaps would have challenged higher. That shows what a good side they are and what a tough place it is to go and get a result."