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Birmingham logo
Championship | Gameweek 8
Sep 22, 2023 at 8pm UK
St. Andrew's Stadium
QPR logo
0 - 0

Bacuna (54'), Sanderson (67'), Stansfield (90')

Field (45'), Smyth (61')

Preview: Birmingham City vs. Queens Park Rangers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Championship clash between Birmingham City and Queens Park Rangers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Birmingham City play host to Queens Park Rangers on Friday night looking to bounce back from suffering two successive defeats in the Championship.

While Blues have dropped out of the top six in the table, QPR are currently keeping themselves out of the relegation zone, helped by securing a late point versus Swansea City earlier this week.

Match preview

Birmingham City manager John Eustace reacts on March 14, 2023© Reuters

Before the international break, Birmingham were going quietly about their business, with head coach John Eustace putting together a five-match unbeaten streak with three wins and two draws.

However, like it did with Michael Beale - who was coincidentally with QPR - links to Rangers have preceded a run of defeats, with Blues losing at Watford and Preston North End respectively.

Those defeats should be put into context with Watford scoring two late goals to beat their 10-men opponents and leaders Preston coming from behind to edge out Eustace's side by a 2-1 scoreline.

Nevertheless, despite Eustace's obvious qualities and Birmingham being in a position where they can still be pleased with their start to the season, they need another victory as soon as possible.

On the back of a four-match winning streak in all competitions, Birmingham have now failed to prevail in the same amount of matches since August 29.

From QPR's perspective, they are still yet to find any consistency under Gareth Ainsworth, keeping their boss under pressure on a game-by-game basis.

For now, though, Ainsworth is doing an acceptable job, collecting seven points from as many matches with four points coming from a possible nine either side of the international break.

QPR had appeared on course for a fifth defeat in seven when trailing Swansea for much of their fixture at Loftus Road on Tuesday, before Lyndon Dykes powered a header into the corner in the first-minute of added-on time.

These two clubs have spent the early weeks of the season at opposite ends of the standings, yet an away success at St Andrew's on Friday would take QPR to within one point of their hosts.

Birmingham City Championship form:

Birmingham City form (all competitions):

Queens Park Rangers Championship form:

Queens Park Rangers form (all competitions):

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Team News

Queens Park Rangers (QPR) manager Gareth Ainsworth reacts after the match on August 19, 2023© Reuters

Birmingham will be able to welcome back Lee Buchanan after the defender served his one-match suspension for his dismissal at Watford.

Eustace is likely to recall him at left-back, taking the spot of Emmanuel Longelo, while Scott Hogan could return in a reshuffle in the final third.

Keshi Anderson may switch flanks and Jay Stansfield could drop deeper, leaving Koji Miyoshi to switch to the left and Oliver Burke drop to the substitutes' bench.

Having not been rushed back from an injury suffered in August, four substitute outings for country and club may lead to Dykes being recalled in place of Sinclair Armstrong.

While other alterations could be considered, Ainsworth may be content to go with the side that started against Swansea, particularly with midfielder Jack Colback serving the second of a three-match ban.

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Ruddy; Drameh, Sanderson, Long, Longelo; Sunjic, Bielik; Anderson, Stansfield, Miyoshi; Hogan

Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Begovic; Kakay, Cook, Fox; Smyth, Dozzell, Field, Paal; Willock, Dykes, Chair

SM words green background

We say: Birmingham City 2-1 Queens Park Rangers

Unlike throughout the early weeks of the season, there is more momentum with the visitors heading into this contest. Nevertheless, Blues are under pressure to deliver maximum points to get back on track, and we feel that they will net during the latter stages to edge a tight encounter.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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