Birmingham City will be seeking to pick up their first win in six league games tonight as they play host to Championship strugglers Derby County, with both sides from the Midlands hoping to pick up a much needed three points.
Aitor Karanka is yet to really work his magic at St. Andrew’s and will be hoping to see a lot more from his players before the month is out before assessing which areas to strengthen when the January transfer window opens later this week.
A win for the Blues could see them into 16th place is other results go there way, with a victory on home turf set to represent only their sixth win of the season, underlining the poor start that the club have made to the current campaign.
A lack of goals has been one of the clear sources of their issues this term, with several players standing as Birmingham’s joint top scorers on a measly two goals, perhaps suggesting that a new striker could be brought in during the January window.
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Here’s the starting eleven that we feel Aitor Karanka should select for tonight’s important game against Derby…
An unchanged back four of George Friend, Harlee Dean, Marc Roberts and Maxime Colin will be seeking to build upon their welcome clean sheet against Nottingham Forest last time out in tonight’s game as they look to record another shut out again along with keeper Neil Etheridge.
In midfield, the combative pairing of Adam Clayton and Ivan Sunjic will once again look to screen in front of the back four whilst also taking it in turns to get forward and support the front four when the opportunity arises.
Meanwhile we expect there to be one enforced change for the Blues, with Alen Halilovic sidelined by a minor groin injury, thus opening the door for Riley McGree to stake a claim for a regular starting spot under Karanka.
The Australian will be accompanied in the final third by Jeremie Bela, Ivan Sanchez and Scott Hogan, with all four players seeking to add to Birmingham’s paltry total of just 17 goals as a team this season against a Derby defence that has shipped 23 this term.