Birmingham City host QPR in the Championship today, but Aitor Karanka could be without Ivan Sanchez.

The Spaniard was on hand to score in the 3-1 defeat v league leaders Norwich City last time out. But he faces a late fitness test ahead of the clash v QPR today and it’s looking increasingly likely that he won’t play a part.

He’s been playing on the right-hand side of a 4-3-3 formation of late – it’s a formation that can quickly fall back into a more defensive one, but it’s given Blues a bit more energy in the last few outings.

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The ‘tinkerman’ will no doubt be rubbing his hands at the prospect of completely changing Birmingham City’s formation in the hours leading up to kick-off but if Karanka can resist the temptation, he could have a ready-and-waiting winger in Alen Halilovic.

He’s made just two starts for Birmingham City so far. He arrived as a hugely exciting signing but fans are starting to wonder why he was brought in if Karanka isn’t going to utilise him.

Fitness may well remain his downfall, but the 24-year-old clearly has ability and throwing him on in the right-wing position might be a smart move from Karanka today.

QPR are weak in the full-back positions, especially on the left and so Halilovic could have a huge impact should he start on the right-side of midfielder if not in a more advanced position on the wing.

Karanka’s job is on the line with every passing fixture now, and a heavy defeat today could spell the end of him at St Andrew’s.