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Gary Rowett has three Birmingham City line-ups to cause Coventry upset



Later today, Gary Rowett will reveal the starting lineup that matters most in his second stint as Birmingham City’s manager.

The Blues cannot afford to lose again at home after the embarrassing loss to Cardiff on Wednesday. Sending Coventry City back down the M6 with their play-off hopes in shambles is imperative.

With four games remaining to prevent their relegation to League One, Blues, currently ranked 23rd in the Championship table, must prevail. Given his lackluster performance in the middle of the week, Rowett is unlikely to start the same lineup for the fourth straight game.

Rowett said, “Of course, when you play like that at this point in the season, there’s going to be an opportunity potentially to make quite a few changes.””We have made an effort to stick with the same squad, one that I believed could win football games.

“After attempting to achieve that consistency and continuity, we didn’t perform to that level, so maybe it’s time to consider if people deserve opportunities.”

But who will have those chances? Not that the replacements Rowett has been bringing on have been particularly spectacular.

Will Keshi Anderson, Gary Gardner, or Scott Hogan be better than the players in Rowett’s starting lineup right now? Most likely not. There are real questions about Cody Drameh. The right-back, who is now on loan, has been in and out of the starting lineup in recent months, but it might be time to bring him back.

In the event that Lee Buchanan is unable to begin, Drameh may have to start at leftback.Due to a groin issue, Buchanan was substituted on Wednesday.Drameh may pose a danger to Ethan Laird’s job if Buchanan is qualified.

Some have expressed surprise at Rowett’s decision to keep Ivan Sunjic and Krystian Bielik apart in midfield. Despite the interim manager talking up Sunjic before he arrived, Rowett has not given the Croatian a starting spot.If Rowett decided to go back to the 4-2-3-1 formation that worked so well for John Eustace during the first two months of the season, Bielik and Sunjic would be the ideal choices for midfield positions.

Paik Seung-ho and Jordan James are probably going to play in front of anchorman Bielik if Rowett sticks to his formula and uses a 4-1-4-1 formation. If Rowett decides to utilize Bielik at center back, Paik and James might also play in midfield in the 3-4-3 formation Blues used against Queens Park Rangers. Through default, Emanuel Aiwu has maintained his defensive position for the last six weeks.

Attackers Koji Miyoshi, Juninho Bacuna, and Jay Stansfield should all be starting positions. Rowett could have brought back Siriki Dembele if he had chosen the 4-2-3-1 formation, but it doesn’t seem likely given the Ivorian’s exclusion from the squad on Wednesday. The six-goal striker Dembele has been out of favor under Mark Venus, Tony Mowbray, and now Rowett in the last two months.

Hogan has only started three league games since September. It has been suggested that playing Hogan would provide Stansfield with much-needed reinforcement. Lukas Jutkiewicz would be the perfect counterpoint for Stansfield, but the seasoned target man is currently out due to a knee injury. At this point, perhaps Hogan is worth a second chance.

Below are three possible lineups with three possible formations that Rowett could choose from.

(4-1-4-1): Stansfield; Miyoshi, Paik, James, Bacuna; Bielik; Laird, Aiwu, Sanderson, Buchanan

(3-4-3): Miyoshi, Stansfield, Bacuna; Drameh, Paik, James, Laird; Sanderson, Bielik, Buchanan

(4-2-3-1): Stansfield; Bacuna, Miyoshi, Dembele; Bielik, Sunjic; Drameh, Aiwu, Sanderson, Buchanan



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