Queens Park Rangers vs Birmingham City injury news - as six players ruled out and two doubts
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Birmingham City’s final game before the international break is a massive one, as Blues travel south to take on fellow relegation fighters Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. Just goal difference separates the two sides heading into the clash, with both on 42 points – seven above the drop.
John Eustace is delighted to welcome Juninho Bacuna back into the fold for the game following a two-match suspension. The all-action midfielder had accumulated 10 yellow cards in the Championship meaning he had to miss a couple of outings, but he’s now back and raring to go for the trip to the capital.
“He’s been great, Bacs, and recently his level of consistency has been getting better and better,” Eustace told Birmingham Live pre-match. “He is maturing into a really good player and he comes back into the squad. He makes things more competitive and keeps everyone on their toes,” Eustace continued.
While one key man may be back, two others are still ruled out for Blues. An update on captain Troy Deeney sees the veteran striker out for a while longer with a hamstring strain, whereas Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee Dion Sanderson has had his season ended prematurely with a back problem.
“I think Troy is still four or five weeks away. You can see how thin we are as a squad,” Eustace said. “To lose [Sanderson] until the end of the season is a massive blow to us. I am pretty sure he is going to be out for a large part of the remainder of the season. He has been struggling with his back,” Eustace continued.
Saturday’s hosts have plenty of players unavailable for the game but Ainsworth has kept his cards very close to his chest as to who could return and who won’t. There are a few certainties, though, as Jake Clarke-Salter, Chris Willock, Tyler Roberts and Ethan Laird are all sidelined with long-term problems.
Meanwhile, it’s guesswork but there are some indications. “I’m hoping to get some players back after the international break who will bolster us. A couple could be back for Saturday too,” Ainsworth said pre-match. Those likeliest to be referred to are Ilias Chair and Kenneth Paal, as they are close to returning.
Ruled out: Clarke-Salter, Willock, Roberts, Laird (QPR); Deeney, Sanderson (BIR).
Doubts: Chair, Paal (QPR).