MX23RW : Friday, September 24 05:40:55| >> :120:68099:68099:
Oct 17, 2015 at 3pm UK at St Andrew's
BirminghamBirmingham City
2-1
QPRQueens Park Rangers
Robinson (24'), Caddis (63' pen.)
FT(HT: 1-1)
Phillips (17')

Preview: Birmingham City vs. Queens Park Rangers

Sports Mole previews the match in the Championship between Birmingham City and Queens Park Rangers.

Birmingham City play host to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon hoping to register their third successive victory in the Championship.

Chris Ramsey takes his side to St Andrew's on the back of just one victory in five outings, and the club's head coach will be keen to keep his team in the top half of the standings.


Birmingham City

Gary Rowett of Birmingham City looks on during the pre season friendly match between Nuneaton Town and Birmingham City at the James Parnell Stadium on July 14, 2015© Getty Images

When Birmingham slipped to a 2-0 reverse against Rotherham United to extend a winless run in all competitions to four games, manager Gary Rowett may have feared that his side's terrific start to the campaign would go to waste.

However, the Blues have shown in their last two outings that they could become a permanent fixture in the top 10 this season, and the longer they remain in that company, Rowett will believe that they can earn a playoff spot.

The 2-0 triumph away at Brentford came at a time when the Bees were encountering more upheaval in the dugout, but it extended Birmingham's unbeaten record on the road to four matches, a potentially important statistic as the season progresses.

Four days later, that became five as Demarai Gray and Jacques Maghoma netted during a 2-0 success at Leeds United to leave Birmingham in fourth position ahead of the international break.

The two-week interval perhaps came at the wrong moment for the West Midlands outfit but ahead of the visit of QPR, they will be confident of getting more points on the board ahead of the busy winter months.

Their goalscoring record at St Andrew's is something that requires improvement, though. It has been 193 minutes since they last netted in the front of their own supporters, with four goals against Bristol City hiding their average form at home.

Recent form: WLDLWW
Recent form (all competitions): WDLLWW


Queens Park Rangers

Chris Ramsey manager of QPR looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Queens Park Rangers at KC Stadium on February 21, 2015© Getty Images

In sharp contrast to their hosts, QPR head into Saturday's fixture with plenty of doubt surrounding their capabilities of lasting the pace of a 46-match Championship campaign.

Ramsey's men responded well to a slow start, but they have won just once in their five most recent outings, which came in a back-and-forth 4-3 victory against Bolton Wanderers two weeks ago.

The team deserve credit for overturning an early two-goal deficit, but the fact remains that they have conceded seven goals in two matches, which extends to 12 in five since the last international break.

Their task in the final third has not been helped by the recent injury to Charlie Austin, who has scored seven times in nine matches, but Tjarron Chery has chipped in with four strikes and he will need to continue that kind of form while Austin remains out of the team.

That said, QPR need to improve in all areas of their game. They only have one clean sheet in 10 and possess the worst defensive record in the division alongside bottom-placed Bristol City.

Recent form: WLDDLW


Team News

Birmingham City's David Cotterill carries the ball forward during a Championship match against Charlton Athletic on October 4, 2014© Getty Images

Rowett has revealed that winger David Cotterill is expected to miss the next two games with a hamstring injury, while Neal Eardley is unlikely to be considered despite moving closer to a return from a shoulder problem.

However, Andrew Shinnie will be included in the squad, as will Gray who was forced to pull out of international duty with a tight groin.

As for QPR, they remain with attacking duo Austin and Jamie Mackie, with Austin not due back until the end of the month and Mackie missing until December.

Ramsey could potentially hand a start to midfielder Sandro, who made his first appearance of the season off the bench two weeks ago.

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Kuszczak, Caddis, Morrison, Robinson, Grounds, Gleeson, Kieftenbeld, Maghoma, Davis, Gray, Donaldson

Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Green, Onuoha, Angella, Hall, Konchesky, Henry, Sandro, Phillips, Fer, Chery, Emmanuel-Thomas


Head To Head

In 51 previous matches, Birmingham have emerged victorious on 21 occasions, four more times than the West Londoners.

Between 1986 and 2008, Birmingham went 14 games unbeaten against QPR, registering eight wins and six draws.

However, the Blues have lost the last three contests without scoring a goal.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Birmingham City 2-1 Queens Park Rangers

With Birmingham looking assured at the back in their last two fixtures and QPR continuing to look inconsistent, it is difficult to back against the home side on Saturday afternoon. The match may turn out to be competitive given that QPR have no issues when it comes to scoring goals, but we think that Rowett's men will extend their recent impressive form.



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QPR boss Chris Ramsey on May 10, 2015
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bournemouth8530146818
2Fulham85121871116
3West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom8440147716
4Coventry CityCoventry851296316
5Stoke CityStoke84221110114
6Blackburn RoversBlackburn8341118313
7Huddersfield TownHuddersfield84131311213
8Queens Park RangersQPR83321612412
9Bristol City8332109112
10Cardiff CityCardiff8323119211
11Birmingham CityBirmingham83231010011
12Luton TownLuton82421214-210
13Reading83141518-310
14Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd8233121209
15Middlesbrough8233910-19
16Preston North EndPreston8233911-29
17Millwall8152810-28
18Barnsley815269-38
19Blackpool8224712-58
20Swansea CitySwansea8143711-47
21Peterborough UnitedPeterborough82151017-77
22Hull City8125512-75
23Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest8116712-54
24Derby CountyDerby824267-1-2

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