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Sanderson starts: The predicted Birmingham City XI to face Preston on Saturday



Birmingham City host Preston North End on Saturday looking to show a swift response from the frustrating 3-0 defeat that they suffered last time out away to Peterborough United.

Lee Bowyer’s side had been enjoying a promising start to the campaign. They had also been looking like one of the most difficult teams to break down in the Championship this term, until shipping seven goals in their last two fixtures against Fulham and Peterborough.

Those games will have shown Birmingham that there is still a lot of work for them to do this season, despite the undoubted progress that Bowyer has made so far since taking over.

Preston will provide another stern test for Birmingham on Saturday. That comes with the Lilywhites having gone five matches in the Championship without defeat after they had lost all three of their opening league matches last month.

There are some potential fitness concerns and one suspension concern that Bowyer will have to consider when naming his side against Preston.

It will therefore be interesting to see how the Blues line-up as they aim to get back to winning ways.

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With that in mind, we take a look at the potential starting XI Bowyer could select for the Blues against Preston…

Bowyer might consider changing his shape from the 3-4-3 that he has used for most of the campaign, but he could decide to stick with that system and give it another chance.

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Groundshared St. Andrew's with another club

Marc Roberts is a doubt for this game with the defender having been taken off at half time in the defeat at Peterborough last time out.

In his pre-match press conference, Bowyer suggested that the defender was tough and go for the visit of Preston.

If Roberts does miss out then that would mean that Dion Sanderson gets the chance to make his first Championship start for the Blues since arriving from Wolves in the summer.

In this system, it is likely that he would be paired with both Harlee Dean and Kristian Pedersen in the back three.

In the middle of the park, Gary Gardner is set to be suspended for the game after picking up a red card in the defeat at Peterborough last weekend.

Ivan Sunjic came off the bench at half time in that one and you would expect him to come back into the side and partner Ryan Woods.

It would be expected that Maxime Colin and Jeremie Bela would be the starting players in the right and left wing-back positions against Preston.

That comes with the pair have both delivered strong performances in those respective roles already this term.

In the front three, Bowyer would have a difficult decision to make over whether to start either Lukas Jutkiewicz or Troy Deeney upfront.

Deeney might well just get the nod with Scott Hogan coming back into the side and Tahith Chong keeping his place.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Sanderson starts: The predicted Birmingham City XI to face Preston on Saturday

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