Blues welcome another London side to St.Andrews today, out of form QPR who have not won for 5 games under Holloway. Like Blues, they are a side struggling at the wrong end of the table picking up less points after switching manager during the season. As both clubs look to get a much needed win, i expect there will be apprehension from both teams as they will see this as a very winnable affair.
After another midweek loss Zola was clearly displeased and fed up of a sluggish starts to games and allowing teams to pick them apart. A bright, more dominant start is simply needed if Blues are to dominate the first half and grab the first goal to inflict a morale blow onto their opponents. This will mean no lack of concentration and to show the crowd football on the frontfoot; something expected under Zola.
Blues will be without leader and popular man Craig Gardner as he serves a one match ban for the red he received against Preston. Meanwhile David Davis will be missing as he serves his two match suspension for picking up 10 yellow cards this season but cover comes in the form of hardworking Dutchman Michael Kieftenbeld.
Full back Ryan Shotton could return and there a multitude of option to fill in for Gardners short absence with Robert Tesche being our obvious. However, new signings Kerim Frei and Kristin Bielik will be looking to start as well. Whoever fills in for Gardner has the opportunity to step up and prove their worth in the starting 11 and influence the midfield. There is plenty of healthy competition there now. Further up the field Lukus Jukiewicz and Che Adams will be looking to have their finishing boots on as Clayton Donaldson remains out of due to an injury to his Achilles.
At the back QPR are hopeful for a return for defender Joel Lynch who is looking to recover in time from hamstring injury and Ravel Morrison may feature after returning to the club for a second spell (the former Blues man who scored in their last win at St.Andrews in 2014). There defence is also weakened with absence of Jack Robison and experienced centre has Steven Caulker.
The Hoops have a very poor record when visiting St.Andrews, winning just one game in their last ten visits here but equally Blues have lost four of the last six games against them. The stats would suggest draw but as a win is so important to both clubs, I feel whoever gets the first goal will go onto win this.
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Words by Kurt Beresford