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Birmingham City face daunting Manchester City trip

Birmingham City are without a win in their last three Premier League games and find themselves sitting on the edge of relegation places as a result, while the bookmakers are not giving them much chance of turning things around at Manchester City this weekend.

Tuesday's late defeat to Stoke City followed draws with West Ham and Aston Villa and now they travel to Eastlands to play the big-spending City. Roberto Mancini's side demolished them 5-1 back in April and they are priced at 4/9 to get all three points and heap more pressure on Alex McLeish's shoulders.

The facts do not make good reading for Birmingham fans, as the club have not won away from St Andrews so far this season. Big things were expected of McLeish's side after their best-ever finish last season, but it has not worked out as expected.

Big-name signings such as Alexander Hleb have not worked out and the manager has been forced to come out and state he does not expect to see the best from the midfielder until the New Year. The boss left Hleb out of the Stoke defeat and now has a decision to make whether to restore the playmaker to the line-up.

Where as the Blues are short on top-class talent, their opposition on Saturday has too much talent for its own good. City have a roster of big-name expensive signings and the Birmingham defenders will have their work cut out trying to keep the likes of Carlos Tevez, David Silva and Yaya Toure quiet.

Mancini could give recalls to Adam Johnson and Emmanuel Adebayor, but Mario Balotelli is definitely out serving the second game of a three-match ban.

McLeish could take heart from the fact City have not been firing on all cylinders this season, and Mancini remains under pressure after some disappointing results. They played out a poor goalless draw in the Manchester derby in midweek and the fans are likely to be calling out for an improved display.

Birmingham are likely to look to defend and catch City on the break, but it is worrying times for the club as they could end up in the bottom three if results go against them this weekend.

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