January 22, 2011

Man Utd V Birmingham Preview

Manchester United v Birmingham City
22 January 2011 (15:00 GMT)
Barclays Premier League

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson must find a replacement for Brazilian full-back Rafael, who will miss Saturday's Premier League clash with Birmingham City at Old Trafford through suspension.
The youngster received his marching orders for two bookable offences at White Hart Lane.

Brother Fabio, plus more experienced duo Wes Brown and John O’Shea, are all in contention to fill the vacancy, with Ferguson also expected to make a couple of extra changes as his side look to retain top spot.
Birmingham striker Cameron Jerome and winger Sebastian Larsson are available after injury.
The duo missed the 1-1 home draw with Aston Villa last weekend with hamstring and hip problems respectively.
Liam Ridgewell is again set to deputise at the heart of the defence for Scott Dann with David Murphy given another opportunity at left-back.

Dann will be out for the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery on his damaged hamstring.
Keeper Ben Foster will return to Old Trafford for the first time since his £6million summer move from United.

Manchester United: Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Lindegaard, O’Shea, Brown, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Smalling, Evans, Evra, Fabio, Nani, Obertan, Carrick, Fletcher, Scholes, Gibson, Anderson, Giggs, Bebe, Rooney, Berbatov, Hernandez, Owen.

The four previous Premier League matches between Sir Alex Ferguson and Alex McLeish have been tight affairs. Both games at St Andrew's ended in 1-1 draws, while United have edged both matches at Old Trafford 1-0.

United have scored in every Premier League home match this season, while Birmingham have scored in seven of 10 away games.

Manchester United are the only current top-flight side that Birmingham City have failed to beat during the Premier League era.