Birmingham v Arsenal preview

Team news for Saturday's Premier League clash between Birmingham and Arsenal at St Andrew's (kick-off 5.30pm).

Last Updated: 31/12/10 at 11:46

Hleb: Pushing for a start against his former club

Hleb: Pushing for a start against his former club

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Birmingham boss Alex McLeish is poised to field an unchanged team in Saturday evening's home game with the Gunners.

McLeish looks set to keep faith with the line-up which earned an impressive 1-1 draw at home to Manchester United in mid-week thanks to Lee Bowyer's late goal.

Blues have no fresh injury worries as they strive to maintain an impressive home record - just one league defeat in the last 16 months at St. Andrews - with former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb again likely to be amongst the substitutes as he continues his comeback from a hamstring injury.

Arsenal welcome back captain Cesc Fabregas from suspension for the New Year's Day trip to the Blues.

However, midfielder Abou Diaby will be out for around a month after suffering a calf strain in Wednesday night's 2-2 draw at Wigan.

Robin van Persie and Alex Song are expected to come back into the side having been rested against the Latics, but Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles), goalkeeper Manuel Almunia (ankle) and Kieran Gibbs (ankle) are all still out.

Birmingham (from): Foster, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Larsson, Gardner, Bowyer, Ferguson, Beausejour, Jerome, Taylor, Zigic, Phillips, Derbyshire, Fahey, Hleb, Jiranek.

Arsenal (from): Fabianski, Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy, Song, Fabregas, Wilshere, Walcott, Van Persie, Nasri, Szczesny, Rosicky, Squillaci, Arshavin, Chamakh, Bendtner, Eboue, Denilson.

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