Fresh off the back of the deflating loss to Norwich City on Tuesday night, Blues are on their travels again this weekend, heading to West London to take on QPR on Saturday afternoon at The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium (3pm KO).
I think enough has been said by Karanka and on social media about the last two performances. Blues and Karanka will be looking to put those results behind them with a strong performance against the London side, who have had an equally stuttering start to the league campaign.
QPR will be going into this game with the same hopes as Blues and only one thought in their mind – victory. QPR have also not won since the opening day of the season, but they have managed to score more goals than Blues – although haven’t found the back of the net in the last two matches. They will very much be looking to end that drought.
Blues have had a steady record against QPR in recent history, having lost one game, drawn two and won one – yes THAT game with THAT penalty save from a certain Mr. Camp in stoppage time.
Twitter: One of the most eventful games you’ve ever been to? We think so!
A seven-goal thriller at QPR that went a bit… https://t.co/zQXOzJehbH (@BCFC)
Last Time Out
The last time these two sides faced in other, it was in West London and a 2-2 draw was played out. Blues were still in the middle of their unbeaten run (although that was shortly to come to a very abrupt end), and Scott Hogan was still very much in form – scoring both goals for Blues. Hogan’s goals came before and after a quickfire QPR double, as they scored twice in 4 minutes at the start of the second half.
YouTube: HIGHLIGHTS | QPR 2, BIRMINGHAM CITY 2 – 29/02/20
Josh McEachran (ACL) is still Blues only long-term absentee. Jon Toral (groin) and Lukas Jutkiewicz (illness) are doubts, with Jutkiewicz confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19. Toral is the more likely of the two to make the squad. Jake Clarke-Salter will miss the game with a calf injury and may well not feature for another 2-3 weeks. Adam Clayton also misses the game as he serves his suspension for his sending off on Tuesday night.
Clayton’s suspension will give somebody a chance to deputise in his absence, with Mikel San Jose looking to make his first start for Blues, although Karanka has been coy about who may replace Clayton. In today’s press conference he stated that: “In that position we are more than covered, we’ve got Gardner, Sunjic, Maikel (Kieftenbeld) and even Muncie (Caolan Boyd-Munce). I’m considering Muncie because he’s training really well. He’s young and intelligent and has the right character.”
When discussing whether San Jose might make his debut, Karanka continued; “I am considering playing him on Saturday because his experience and quality can help us. For sure but he is not yet 100 per cent because he only arrived two or three weeks ago. But the only way to get to 100 per cent is to play. Even not being 100 per cent, he’s going to be an important player for us.”
Twitter: @Karanka addressed the press earlier today ahead of this weekend’s trip to face the R’s. (@BCFC)
Midfielder Luke Amos is out for the rest of the season after rupturing his ACL against Bournemouth last weekend. Striker Lyndon Dorss should be available, despite missing the last two games for the hosts with a thigh strain.
Twitter: Not the news we wanted.
#QPR’s @Luke_Amos1 is set to miss the remainder of the season after rupturing his anteri… https://t.co/K3cmzmnigM (@QPR)
What the gaffer said…
On Saturday’s opponents
“QPR will be a hard game, they are a good side. We need to forget about the opponent, we have to approach the game in a manner that will allow us to get the three points.”
On what formation he might play
“I said at the beginning that my preferred shape is 4-2-3-1, but when you are missing that number 10 you have to look at other alternatives.
Now I have to analyse QPR and I will see. I don’t know if it will be three at the back or 4-2-3-1 or maybe 4-3-3. I need to adapt the team for the best for the game”.
“Aitor will set his team up to be well organised. You at look George Friend and Harlee Dean – who is someone I know well – Scott Hogan at the other end of the field is a potent finisher. They have a good, talented squad and they will be very hard to break down and will always pose a threat on the counter-attack. We have to be resilient in our own box and make sure we pose an attacking threat ourselves”.
Twitter: No time to feel sorry.
Current Form – Last 6 Games (in all competitions)
Blues – L L D D D W
QPR – L D D D L W
Head to Head…
Blues wins: 23
QPR wins: 22
Last four meetings between Blues and The Canaries…
Championship 29 Feb 2020 – QPR 2 Blues 2
Championship 11 Dec 2019 – Blues 0 QPR 2
Championship 09 Feb 2019 – QPR 3 Blues 4
Championship 01 Sept 2018 – Blues 0 QPR 0
Given the form of both teams heading into this, both could do with a win to try and kick start their season. However, I think that with Blues struggling to score, and QPR not scoring for the last two games, this has 0-0 written all over it.
What are your predictions for the game? Let Us Know!