Birmingham City will look to get back to winning ways this evening when they travel to take on Millwall in the Championship.
A run of one win in 12 league games has heaped the pressure on boss Aitor Karanka, with Blues currently second from bottom in the table and firmly in a relegation battle.
And, things aren’t about to get any easier for the West Midlands outfit, as they prepare to face former boss Gary Rowett’s Millwall side that are unbeaten in five.
Given the manner of Blues’ defeat to Luton last time out, Karanka must be thinking about making several changes for this one, and here we look at three dilemmas facing the boss…
What formation to go with
Perhaps the most worrying aspect about Birmingham is that after 29 games the boss doesn’t seem to know his best team. He has constantly changed personnel, and even formations, in the past, and nothing is really working.
The lack of goals may point to two strikers being the way to to, whilst a back three would provide more solidity. Yet, Blues have so many wingers and attacking midfield players that would be frozen out if he went with that shape.
But, something needs to change, and the 4-2-3-1 against the Hatters didn’t work, so Karanka will be considering another change for this tough test.
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Does Sam Cosgrove start
The boss’ reluctance to throw January signing Cosgrove in has been surprising, with the former Aberdeen man making two substitute appearances since signing.
Whilst Scott Hogan did well against Bournemouth, Karanka must be tempted to give the target man a run in the team, and it would be a surprise if he wasn’t in the XI at The Den.
Who plays in central defence
With Marc Roberts suspended, another key area that Karanka needs to sort is in central defence.
In truth, most have struggled this season, so it’s hard to make a solid case for any to start. Harlee Dean hasn’t impressed, but the reality is that he is sure to start, but bringing in Jake Clarke-Salter may be an option.
The on-loan Chelsea man hasn’t convinced this season, but it’s a case of trying to freshen things up and adding more pace to the backline, which should allow Blues to press higher up the pitch, instead of sitting back and conceding possession and territory.