With Craig Dawson at fault for West Ham's second goal in midweek, Irvine is prepared shake things up defensively and start McAuley for the first time since their 2-1 defeat at home to Stoke at the end of last season.
Speaking in the Birmingham Mail, Irvine said: "Craig Dawson can be really happy with what he's done so far this season and he was a player who was desperate to be given a fair chance.
"He has certainly been given that.
"We know that Gareth McAuley is a very good centre-back and we know about all the experience he's got.
"It takes most people outside two minutes to pick a team. It takes me as long as I've got.
"Even if it ends up being the same team, everybody gets considered and we are looking for different solutions."
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