Preview: Birmingham City vs. Queens Park Rangers

Sports Mole looks ahead to Saturday's Championship clash between Birmingham and out-of-form promotion chasers QPR.

Queens Park Rangers' automatic promotion hopes are slowly growing dimmer and dimmer, and defeat away to Birmingham City on Saturday could well be the final nail in the coffin.

The Hoops have now gone five matches without a victory, leaving them nine points behind second-placed Burnley and four behind Derby County in third.

Indeed, QPR are now within striking distance of fifth-placed Nottingham Forest and could drop below Billy Davies's side if results go against them this weekend.

However, the R's do have a game in hand over every other team in the top five of the table, so a win at St Andrew's could put them right back into the mix.

The match must be nearing the status of 'must win' for Harry Redknapp, who has seen his job come under question following their winless streak.

The club's figures being published does not help matters, with huge losses and a wage bill higher than the likes of Borussia Dortmund magnifying their underachievement.

QPR have failed to score in five of their last six away outings in all competitions, with a 3-1 win over Ipswich Town in January giving them their only victory in that time.

Looking further back, they have won just two of their last 12 games on the road and their 13 away goals scored in the league this season is one of the division's lowest tallies.

Redknapp will be boosted by the return of Joey Barton from suspension and Clint Hill from injury, but Charlie Austin, Matthew Phillips, Danny Simpson and Alejandro Faurlin all remain sidelined.

Birmingham, meanwhile, will be looking to cash in on QPR's poor form as they attempt to distance themselves from the bottom three.

Lee Clark's side are currently nine points from danger, but Charlton's three games in hand make that gap more perilous than it seems and they are by no means safe just yet.

However, their goal difference is the best in the bottom nine of the table, which could effectively give them an extra point in a relegation battle that could go down to the wire.

The Blues have been forced to deal with troubles away from football this week as owner Carson Yeung was found guilty of money laundering, although acting chairman Peter Pannu has insisted that the club will not be affected.

A third win in the space of six games could be enough to lift them up to 16th in the table and it would also give their survival hopes a massive boost if those below them fail to win.

However, they have not won any of their last five matches at home and have only beaten League Two side Bristol Rovers at St Andrew's in their last 14 outings there.

No Championship team has picked up fewer points in front of their own fans than Birmingham this season, while their two home wins is the joint-lowest tally in any of England's top four divisions.

Clark will once again be without Neal Eardley and Matthew Green, while loanee Jordan Ibe is pushing for his first start for the club.

Recent form

Birmingham: DWLLWL


Possible starting lineups

Birmingham: Randolph; Spector, Packwood, Martin, Robinson; Adeyemi, Huws; Burke, Novak, Lee; Macheda

QPR: Green; Hughes, Dunne, Hill, Assou-Ekotto; Barton, Carroll; Hoilett, Jenas, Morrison; Doyle

Sports Mole says: 0-1

Share this article now:
QPR manager Harry Redknapp on the touchline during his team's match against Burnley on October 26, 2013
Read Next:
Preview: Charlton vs. QPR
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Premier League
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Ligue 1
Segunda Division
Liga MX
Uruguayan Primera Division
Australian A-League
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Primeira Liga
Turkish Super Lig

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
1Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34227559283173
2Cardiff CityCardiff34207750272367
3Aston Villa34189753322163
4Derby CountyDerby341612653312260
6Bristol City34141284840854
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd33164134639752
9Preston North EndPreston34121574033751
11Leeds UnitedLeeds34147134743449
13Ipswich TownIpswich34146144543248
14Norwich CityNorwich341211113437-347
15Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest34124184153-1240
16Queens Park RangersQPR34109153851-1339
17Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds34813133744-737
19Bolton WanderersBolton34810162951-2234
20Hull City33711154450-632
22Birmingham CityBirmingham3486202251-2930
23Burton Albion3478192660-3429
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account