Birmingham v Aston Villa preview

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 2:10

Birmingham v Aston Villa preview

Birmingham midfielder Craig Gardner could return to face his former club. Gardner will have a late fitness test on the ankle injury which sidelined him for the 1-0 win over Chelsea and the 1-1 draw with Fulham.
He could be a straight replacement for Alexander Hleb who has been ruled out of the derby clash.
Hleb gave one of his better performances at Craven Cottage since joining Blues on loan from Barcelona but had to be substituted in the second period with a hamstring injury.
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish confirmed he will field a stronger line-up than in the previous rounds.
Gabriel Agbonlahor will return to the Aston Villa side.
The striker missed the 4-2 defeat by Arsenal on Saturday with an illness but has recovered and will be in contention for the Second City derby. Defender James Collins is fit after a knock but midfielder Stephen Ireland has a sickness bug of his own and will not play.
Youngster Marc Albrighton is missing after having his appendix out and Nigel Reo-Coker, Steve Sidwell, Emile Heskey and Stiliyan Petrov remain sidelined.
Birmingham (from): Foster, Taylor, Carr, Johnson, Ridgewell, Dann, Larsson,
Ferguson, Bowyer, Fahey, Jerome, Zigic, Gardner, Murphy, Phillips, Michel,
Beausejour, Parnaby, Derbyshire.
Villa (from): Friedel, L Young, Clark, Dunne, Warnock, Hogg, Bannan, Downing, A Young, Agbonlahor, Carew, Collins, Pires, Delfouneso, Herd, Guzan, Osbourne, Lichaj, Lowry.

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