Blues manager Gary Rowett will decide on a possible formation change ahead of the derby clash against Aston Villa.

Birmingham City are without three first team players as they host Midlands rivals Aston Villa – and former boss Steve Bruce – at St. Andrew’s.

Jonathan Grounds serves a one match suspension against Villa, having picked up his fifth yellow card in last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of a Jamie Ward-inspired Burton Albion.

Birmingham manager Gary Rowett is also unable to field the injured Paul Caddis (dislocated shoulder) and Robert Tesche (ankle).

Birmingham City are enjoying a positive run of form at home this season, having secured 10 points from their last four Championship games at St. Andrew’s, and go into the derby with plenty of options for team selection.

Rowett, who will intend to be the first Birmingham manager since 2005 to oversee a league victory over Villa, may consider a switch to 4-4-2 due to the form of front men Clayton Donaldson and Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Burnley loanee Jutkiewicz has scored four goals in his last seven matches for Birmingham, whilst Donaldson has a scoring rate of one goal in every three games this season. 

In the event that Rowett continues with the tried and trusted 4-5-1 system – which has helped Birmingham to their current fifth-place Championship status – Donaldson is expected to return to the starting XI in place of Jutkiewicz.

It is anticipated that Stephen Gleeson, David Davis and the tough-tackling Miakel Kieftenbeld will make a midfield trio, with the width provided by Welshman David Cotterill on the right and Jacques Maghoma on the left wing.

The absence of Grounds at left-back means that Rhoys Wiggins makes a first start for the club since his loan move from Bournemouth.

Ryan Shotton and captain Michael Morrison are likely to continue their impressive partnership in central defence, with American Jonathan Spector completing the back four at right-back.

Goalkeeper Adam Legzdins currently holds the number one spot, despite competition from the experienced Tomasz Kuszczak.

Here’s Birmingham City’s predicted lineup in full:

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