MX23RW : Sunday, April 18 02:54:53| >> :120:42250:42250:
Feb 27, 2021 at 3pm UK at St. Andrew's Stadium
BirminghamBirmingham City
2-1
QPRQueens Park Rangers
Pedersen (82'), Halilovic (85')
Pedersen (52'), Halilovic (86'), Roberts (90+6')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Austin (44')
Willock (13'), Bonne (73')

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

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

Queens Park Rangers face Birmingham City at St Andrew's on Saturday afternoon having put together a five-match unbeaten streak in the Championship.

While the visitors now sit 11 points above the relegation zone, Blues are only two points above the bottom three after a sustained period of poor form under Aitor Karanka.


Match preview

Birmingham City manager Aitor Karanka pictured on January 10, 2021© Reuters

While speculation persists regarding his long-term future in the West Midlands, Karanka will not be judged on results against teams such as Norwich City.

Nevertheless, the 3-1 defeat against the league leaders has left Blues within one defeat of falling back into the relegation zone, heaping the pressure on the Spaniard.

Last weekend's success at Sheffield Wednesday could prove important in the grand scheme of things, but Karanka desperately needs to improve on a run of five points being collected from eight games.

The goals against the Owls and Canaries marked the first time that Birmingham have scored in successive matches since the turn of the year.

Although QPR have impressed of late, meetings with the Hoops and struggling Huddersfield Town give Blues every chance of maintaining their scoring run into March.

Preston North End's Ched Evans in action with Queens Park Rangers' Dominic Ball in the Championship on February 24, 2021© Reuters

There was a time in January when Mark Warburton would have feared a relegation battle after going nine second-tier fixtures without success.

However, QPR have responded with 19 points being collected from just eight matches, their only setback coming at home to Derby County.

The return of Charlie Austin has undoubtedly had its desired effect, but each member of a settled starting lineup deserves credit for the upturn in results.

Possessing two matches in hand on the teams in the playoffs, Warburton will not rule out the possibility of his side making up a nine-point deficit.

That said, it is still one match at a time for QPR, who must show that they are capable of performing with the added pressure which comes with an excellent set of results.

Birmingham City Championship form: DLLLWL

Queens Park Rangers Championship form: LWWWWD


Team News

Queens Park Rangers QPR manager Mark Warburton pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Despite only claiming a goalless draw at Deepdale, Warburton is expected to keep changes down to a minimum.

Macauley Bonne is in line to replace Lyndon Dykes in attack, with Sam Field also an option if the QPR manager wants fresher legs in midfield.

Karanka could hand a recall to Birmingham centre-back Marc Roberts, while Southampton loanee Yan Valery is also pushing for a starting role.

Playmaker Alen Halilovic may be brought back into the team, potentially as a replacement for midfielder Rekeem Harper.

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Etheridge; Valery, Dean, Roberts, Pedersen; Gardner, Sunjic; Sanchez, Halilovic, Bela; Hogan

Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Dieng; Dickie, Cameron, Barbet; Kane, Ball, Johansen, Wallace; Chair; Austin, Bonne


SM words green background

We say: Birmingham City 1-1 Queens Park Rangers

Sitting well clear of safety, QPR will play with a sense of freedom against opponents who possess little confidence in the final third. However, the extra edge may suit Birmingham, and we feel that the home side will do enough to claim a share of the spoils.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win 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.Away Win:data


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
2Watford422410859283182
3Swansea CitySwansea4222101052331976
4Brentford412014771403174
5Bournemouth4221111069412874
6Barnsley412181254441071
7Reading4219101357461167
8Cardiff CityCardiff4216121458461260
9Millwall421417114140159
10Queens Park RangersQPR421611155051-159
11Middlesbrough42169174947257
12Stoke CityStoke421414144546-156
13Luton TownLuton41168173646-1056
14Bristol City42156214156-1551
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn421311185448650
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest421213173441-749
17Preston North EndPreston42147214155-1449
18Coventry CityCoventry411112183756-1945
19Birmingham CityBirmingham411112183150-1945
20Derby CountyDerby421110213148-1743
21Rotherham UnitedRotherham39116224153-1239
22Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds42119223555-2036
23Wycombe WanderersWycombe42810243266-3434

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