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Third placed Man City visit cup-run specialists Birmingham


Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City side will be hoping to return to winning ways in the Premier League as they travel to League Cup finalists Birmingham City.

Mancini’s men lost 1-0 to Aston Villa in their last league outing, as well as drawing with Notts County in the FA Cup Fourth round at the weekend. They make their third successive trip to the midlands tonight, to face a Birmingham side 14 places below them in the Premier League.

Birmingham shrugged off a 5-0 loss against City’s rivals Manchester United 10 days ago by recording a League Cup semi-final victory over West Ham, as well as a 3-2 FA Cup victory over Coventry on Saturday. They will be hoping to transfer some of that form across to the league, where they are hovering just above the relegation zone on goal difference.

Alex McLeish managed to sign David Bentley, Curtis Davies and Obafemi Martins during the transfer window, and could all feature in this fixture, as well as rested players Roger Johnson, Cameron Jerome and Craig Gardner. He will be without Scott Dann, who could be missing for the rest of the season.

The Citizens can also call on rejuvenated players, rested for the cup fixture. Nigel de Jong, Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Kolo Toure are all expected to feature.

The only doubt for the Blue half of Manchester is Carlos Tevez, who has a back injury. Adam Johnson will miss the rest of the season after suffering a thigh injury, and joins Micah Richards and Mario Balotelli on the physio’s table.

New striker Dzeko, who was Martins strike partner at Wolfsburg, scored his first goal for his new club against Notts County at the weekend, will be hoping for his first league goal tonight.


Premier League 09/10:

Birmingham 0-0 Man City

Man City 5-1 Birmingham

Premier League 10/11:

Man City 0-0 Birmingham

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