Birmingham City host QPR in the Championship tomorrow, in another tough assignment for under-fire manager Aitor Karanka.
Birmingham City find themselves a place above the relegation zone going into this weekend. It could all change, but Karanka’s side will need a huge performance to take anything from one of the league’s form sides in QPR.
The Rs have won four of their last five in the Championship having picked up a credible point in the goalless draw at Preston North End in midweek.
Mark Warburton’s side are flying up the table, sitting in 13th ahead of tomorrow and planning a late raid on the top-six. So how can Birmingham City give themselves a chance of claiming anything from tomorrow?
Karanka needs his wingers to ‘get at’ QPR’s full-backs
Birmingham City showed in the midweek defeat v league leaders Norwich City that they do have a fighting spirit, and that they can cause problems for the better teams in the Championship.
Two of their more influential players of late have been widemen Jeremie Bela and Ivan Sanchez – the latter was on hand to score against Norwich City in midweek, with Bela having impressed fans in that game as well.
Both started on either wing last time out and Karanka needs to deploy them both again tomorrow – QPR are proving defensive shrewd at the moment, but their weak spots are either side of the central defenders.
Lee Wallace and Todd Kane are the current choices for Warburton at left and right-back respectively. Both have come under the spotlight this season and both can be easily exposed with a touch of pace – the 33-year-old Wallace especially so.
Targeting these two should be the main aim for Karanka going into tomorrow but as fans will tell you, his tactics can often leave room for question.