Birmingham City take on Derby County at St. Andrew’s this evening as they look to build on their positive start to the season.
Despite sitting eighth in the table, Lee Bowyer’s men are yet to win, or score, at home in the league, so that’s something they will look to rectify tonight.
With Blues putting in a good performance in the draw at Barnsley last time out, Bowyer is unlikely to make major changes for the game, and here we look at the XI we expect him to go with…
Defensively, Blues have been solid this season, so even though someone like Dion Sanderson is pushing to feature, the same setup should get the nod tonight.
That means Marija Sarkic continues in goal, with Marc Roberts, Harlee Dean and Kristian Pedersen continuing as a back three. Meanwhile, Maxime Colin and Jeremie Bela will be the ones to provide the width down the flanks.
In midfield, Gary Gardner could push for a start, although it’s hard to imagine that Bowyer will break up the Ryan Woods and Ivan Sunjic partnership that has worked well.
20 quiz questions about Birmingham City’s 2021/22 season so far – Can you score full marks?
Making up the midfield trio is Tahith Chong, the on-loan Manchester United man who has been outstanding this season. He has the freedom to get forward in this system and will look to be a major threat once again for Blues.
In truth, perhaps the only really tough selection dilemma comes up top, with Troy Deeney’s arrival giving Bowyer another option. Given his pedigree and the hype around his arrival, the former Watford man has to start, and he should partner Lukas Jutkiewicz.
Whilst some could argue they’re too similar, which is fair, this is a game that Blues could dominate so the two could get plenty of service. That means Scott Hogan will have to settle for a place on the bench.
Thoughts? What XI should Bowyer go with? Let us know in the comments below.