Live Team Sheet

Arsenal: Fabianski, Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Nasri, Wilshere, Arshavin, Chamakh.

Subs: Szczesny, Rosicky, Vela, Walcott, Denilson, Gibbs, Bendtner.

Birmingham: Foster, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Larsson, Ferguson, Bowyer, Fahey, Hleb, Zigic.

Subs: Taylor, Murphy, Phillips, O'Connor, Derbyshire, Michel, Jiranek.



Arsene Wenger has challenged his young Arsenal side to show they are winners every time they step out onto the pitch.

Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas, who will miss the Barclays Premier League clash against Birmingham at Emirates Stadium with a hamstring problem, expressed his concerns in a Spanish radio interview of the need for his team-mates' "wealth of quality" to be translated into a "winning mentality" and deliver some long-overdue silverware.

Arsenal suffered successive league defeats before the international break, losing at home 3-2 to West Brom and then going down 2-0 at Chelsea to leave them some seven points behind the leaders, only just clinging on to fourth place.

Wenger feels once that illusive first trophy comes, the last being the FA Cup in 2005, then more will follow.

"It can be misinterpreted. I think everybody has a great desire to win, but you get a winning mentality as well when you have won," Wenger said when asked to respond to his captain's outspoken comments.

"What is at stake for us is not the desire to win, but to make history and to win trophies.

"As long as you have not won you are not completely certain that you can do it - but that does not mean that you lack the desire to win.

"This team has a great desire to win, but you have to show it week in week out.

"This life, at the top level today, in the best league in the world, is to turn up every single game at full cylinders."

Wenger is counting on his team to produce a response against the Blues, when his attacking options will be bolstered by the return to fitness of strikers Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner.

Meanwhile, Alex McLeish believes Birmingham's Serbian striker Nikola Zigic will be in the right frame of mind for the clash.

Zigic was part of the Serbian side caught up in the violence which led to the Euro 2012 qualifier with Italy in Genoa on Tuesday being abandoned after only nine minutes.

Fireworks and flares were thrown on the pitch and the visitors' team bus was attacked before the game, which led to keeper Vladimir Stojkovic refusing to take the field.

Zigic is in strong contention to make his first Barclays Premier League start as Cameron Jerome is rated doubtful with an ankle problem.

And City manager McLeish said: "We've spoken only briefly about what happened in the week. Nikola said it was absolute bedlam, crazy.

"Is he in the right frame of mind? You have to ask that question of everyone of the Serbian players.

"I wouldn't think that every Serbian player involved the other night would be affected and wouldn't want to play this weekend.

"Personally if it was me, I would want to get on with it.

"I know it must have been a dangerous situation with the flare coming on the bus and injuring the keeper.

"But Nikola knows he is going to be safe at the Emirates and there is no danger that he wouldn't want to play."

Zigic has taken time to adjust to the English game and McLeish admits the best is still to come from his £6 million signing from Valencia.

He said: "I am not going to criticise any individual but suffice to say Nikola is trying to find his feet.

"Sometimes when players are striving for that, there is also a confidence factor to take into account.

"There is loads to come from the big man. There is no doubt about it.

"He has settled in, he is a bit fitter now. He should be ready to participate and help us get over the current wee stutter we are experiencing."

Blues on-loan midfielder Alexander Hleb will face his former club after recovering from an ankle knock which kept him out of Belarus' Euro qualifiers with Luxembourg and Albania.

Craig Gardner will again be suspended after his sending-off against Wigan three weeks ago.

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