OPINION: Karanka needs to go 4-3-3 v QPR with this ‘underused’ Birmingham City man filling in for Sanchez
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.
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.