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Discussion Starter #1
Man City v Birmingham

City of Manchester Stadium
Wednesday, 20 April
Kick-off: 1945 BST




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Manchester City defender Richard Dunne faces a late fitness test after suffering a dead leg at Fulham.

Shaun Wright-Phillips makes the squad as he continues his recovery from ligament damage but Jon Macken is set to miss out with a hamstring injury.

Birmingham boss Steve Bruce has no new injury worries and could play Clinton Morrison up front.

Walter Pandiani, who was below par at the weekend against Portsmouth, could be the man to miss out.



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Man City: James, Weaver, Onuoha, Mills, Dunne, Distin, Jordan, Thatcher, Reyna, S Wright-Phillips, Bosvelt, Barton, McManaman, Musampa, Fowler, Sibierski, B Wright-Phillips, Flood, Croft.

Birmingham: Maik Taylor, Melchiot, Cunningham, Upson, Clapham, Pennant, Johnson, Nafti, Lazaridis, Heskey, Pandiani, Vaesen, Blake, Martin Taylor, Morrison, Carter, Gray.




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BIG-MATCH FACTS


MANCHESTER CITY and Birmingham lie adjacent to each other just below half way in the Premiership, and look set to end the season in mid table obscurity.

Under Stuart Pearce, City have enjoyed a last ditch win against Liverpool, have lost by a single goal at Tottenham, have shared four goals with Charlton at the Valley and ended 1-1 with Fulham at the City of Manchester Stadium last Saturday.

Last season's identical fixture resulted in a predictable goalless draw. The Citizens have kept clean sheets in three of their five Premier League clashes against Birmingham.

BIRMINGHAM CITY take to the road in search of a first away victory in 2005 and first ever at Eastlands.

Steve Bruce's side have drawn three matches on the bounce. A 1-1 stalemate home to Tottenham, and goalless game home with Portsmouth last time out, came either side of the creditable point against Chelsea when the would-be champions were held 1-1.

Dele Adebola scored the only goal when these clubs met at Maine Road in the Nationwide First Division on 13 April 1998. It was the Midlanders only victory in 12 League visits to Manchester City. Birmingham also scored the only goal when these two met at St Andrews in August, thanks to Emile Heskey's first for the club. That sets up the possibility of an eighth 'double' over the Mancunians, and first over them in the Premiership.


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Referee:

Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)


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SEQUENCES/RECENT FORM

MANCHESTER CITY


Club stats
Fixtures
Going into the midweek fixtures: 11th 41 points
(all statistics are ahead of the midweek programme of Premiership fixtures)

Won one of the last five - all Premiership.
Recorded two wins in 10 top flight outings.

Scored 18 home Premiership goals. Only West Brom have scored fewer (14).
Conceded only 13 times in home top flight encounters. Only Chelsea (five) and Manchester United (seven) have leaked fewer.
Kept four clean sheets in top flight games at Eastlands this season (v Charlton, Chelsea, Aston V and Liverpool). Just Portsmouth, Norwich and Newcastle have kept less (two each).
Failed to score in five home League games (v Everton, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United and Bolton).
BIRMINGHAM CITY


Club stats
Fixtures
Going into the midweek fixtures: 12th 38 points
(all statistics are ahead of the midweek programme of Premiership fixtures)

Unbeaten in four.
Won one and drawn three Premiership matches since losing 2-0 at West Brom on 6 March.
Not won a single top division game when the opening goal has been conceded. Of the 17 matches in which that has happened, five have been drawn and 12 lost.
Scored just three times in the last 15 minutes of Premiership games this season.

Not won in seven in all competitions, away from home.
Failed to win in six Premiership games away from St Andrews.
Drawn one and lost five League games on the road this year, since the 2-3 victory at Fulham on 28 December.
Need to score two more goals to total 50 all-time in Premier League games away from home.


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KEY PLAYER NOTES/POTENTIAL MILESTONES

MANCHESTER CITY


Squad profiles

If on the field at kick off, Richard DUNNE will be making his 150th League start for Manchester City.
BIRMINGHAM CITY


Squad profiles

Muzzy IZZET needs a brace to total 50 career club goals.
If he lines up for the opening whistle, Oliver TEBILY will be making his 100th start in British club football (Sheffield Utd, Celtic and Birmingham).
Maik TAYLOR is the only remaining player to have figured in every minute of every one of Birmingham's League and Cup matches this season.


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LAST SEASON'S CORRESPONDING GAME:
Manchester City 0-0 Birmingham City
8 February 2004 - Ref: Paul Durkin



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THIS SEASON'S REVERSE FIXTURE:
Birmingham City 1-0 Manchester City
24 February 2004 - Ref: Phil Dowd
Birmingham scorer: Heskey 8



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HEAD TO HEAD TOTALS
League: Man City 55 wins, Birmingham 47, Draws 21
Prem: Man City 2 wins, Birmingham 2, Draws 1

HEAD TO HEAD at Man City
League: Man City 41 wins, Birmingham 9, Draws 11
Prem: Man City 1 win, Birmingham 0, Draws 1
 

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No not Robbie! Unfortunately it was Maik Taylor's OG! At least Dunney scored. Low quality match really, but I'll take that if it is a 3-0 win. I don't know what the Elephant Man was complaining about, Morrison was offside. The push for Europe is still on even if Psycho doesn't think so! 12 from 12 will do it for us!
 

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The Green One said:
The push for Europe is still on even if Psycho doesn't think so! 12 from 12 will do it for us!
*TGO walks away whistling "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life"*
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Makes a change from being pessimistic under Keegan! You should join in for your Champs League hopes :tongue:
 

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Congrats on beating the Bluenoses (and they certainly are birMINGham :)) :thmbup:
 

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The Green One said:
Makes a change from being pessimistic under Keegan! You should join in for your Champs League hopes :tongue:
lol, we don't need to, I know we'll make it :)
 

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Eh? Top 4 I thought. After that its the UEFA Cup. Not so much chance after Everton won. Anyway good win for City. We seem to be really playing well under Pearce. Shame Keegan didnt quit earlier. A top half finish is all we can hope for realisticly. You never know though. Maybe a UEFA Cup spot if we can get maximum points.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
We couldn't get rid of Keegan though until after Royle's money came back to us so we could pay him off y'see andy ;)
 
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