Man City v Birmingham preview

Team news ahead of Wednesday evening's Carling Cup third-round clash between Manchester City and Birmingham at the Etihad Stadium.

Last Updated: 21/09/11 at 09:03

Hargreaves: Poised for City debut

Hargreaves: Poised for City debut

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Owen Hargreaves is in line to make his Manchester City debut in the game.

Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli, Kolo Toure and Adam Johnson could all start as Roberto Mancini looks to give full matches to a number of players.

Nigel de Jong (foot) is still out but James Milner, who missed last week's draw with Fulham after a clash of heads, could return.

Nikola Zigic returns to Birmingham's squad as they start their defence of the Carling Cup with a daunting trip.

The Serbian striker has not started a fixture since heading the opening goal in Blues' 2-1 Wembley success over Arsenal back in February due to hip and groin injuries, making just two substitute appearances which both came last season.

Zigic will be a welcome addition to manager Chris Hughton's ranks but is not ready to start the tie at the Etihad Stadium.

Midfielder Keith Fahey, another member of the cup winning side, also comes back into the equation after groin problems of his own.

But on-loan West Brom striker Chris Wood is ineligible under the terms of his agreement while Wade Elliott is cup-tied having already played in the competition for Burnley prior to his deadline-day switch.

Hughton - who will rotate his side somewhat as he also tries to cope with the demands of Championship and Europa League football - has doubts over a couple of unnamed players but is keeping his cards close to his chest.

Man City (from): Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Richards, Clichy, K Toure, Hargreaves, Milner, Savic, Nasri, Barry, Y Toure, Silva, Johnson, Dzeko, Balotelli, Tevez, Aguero, Razak, Pantilimon.

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