Birmingham City vs Rotherham United injury news - as 5 players ruled out and 4 doubts
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Birmingham City return to home soil on Saturday afternoon to play host to fellow relegation battlers Rotherham United at St Andrew’s. Blues avoided a fifth successive Sky Bet Championship defeat with a 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic last time out, but they have collected just seven points out of the last 36 available.
This - put quite simply - is relegation form set out by John Eustace’s side and an improvement is needed urgently with those in the bottom three closing in. To try and shift the momentum, Blues may make some changes to their starting lineup, rearranging things up a bit.
No switches made will include captain Troy Deeney nor central defender Dion Sanderson, however, with both players still recovering from injuries. Deeney has a bad hamstring strain, whereas Sanderson has been suffering from a back issue. Although Eustace is hopeful about their progress, it is expected they will miss a few weeks more.
There was some good news last weekend as Reda Khadra and Auston Trusty both made their returns to the matchday squad. Trusty, who had missed his first game of the season in the 1-0 home defeat to Luton Town, was thrown immediately back into the starting XI. Brighton loanee Khadra got some minutes off the bench.
Alfie Chang was the man to fill in at central defensive midfield but he was largely uninspiring on the ball, with usual key man Krystian Bielik out for that game. There have been no further updates on the Poland international, but he was deemed a couple of weeks away still ahead of the Wigan game. That makes him a major doubt for this clash, too.
One big blow for Blues is the guaranteed absence of Juninho Bacuna, as he is now suspended for the next two games following a booking against The Latics. Reaching 10 yellow cards for the season, the energetic midfielder will have to watch on from the stands for a couple of weeks.
For Rotherham, forward Shane Ferguson made his return in the 3-1 win against Queens Park Rangers last weekend but midfielder Ollie Rathbone and experienced defender Lee Peltier remain doubts. Sunderland loanee Bailey Wright suffered a calf injury last time out as he continued but limped at times. He will be assessed ahead of Saturday.
Meanwhile, academy product Ben Wiles remains sidelined with a long-term ankle injury but there is hope he can play a part before the end of the campaign. Former Cardiff City defender Sean Morrison won’t have the same fate, as he is out for the rest of the season with a thigh issue.
Ruled out: Deeney, Sanderson, Bacuna (BIR); Wiles, Morrison (ROT).
Doubts: Bielik (BIR); Rathbone, Peltier, Wright (ROT).