Manchester City's head of football operations Brian Marwood insists they will mount a serious challenge to win the Carling Cup this season.

The club went out in the third round of the competition last year at the hands of West Brom after fielding a weakened side, but Wednesday night's visitors Birmingham are likely to face a stiffer challenge. Marwood said the club have now built a squad capable of mounting a challenge for all four trophies.

"The Carling Cup is an important competition for us, there is a European place on offer, there is the potential to go back to Wembley again," he said.

"One of the reasons why we have built the squad in the way that we have done is to try to be competitive in every competition that we play in."

City manager Roberto Mancini, who fielded a very young side last year, is likely instead to select a starting line-up made up of those senior players who have not featured much or at all this season.

Owen Hargreaves and Kolo Toure are likely to be among those who will start against Birmingham, while the likes of Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson, who have not played as much as they would have wanted in the league, may also play.

Mancini said he will change "seven or eight players" from the side who drew at Fulham, but that any youngsters are likely to be on the bench rather than in the starting line-up.

Mancini said: "I well change many players because we need to rest some. I will change seven or eight players but we want to get through to the next round.

"We know that last year against West Brom we had a chance and we lost so it's very important that we play well."

Nigel de Jong is still sidelined due to a foot problem, but James Milner, who missed the Fulham match after a clash of heads last week, could return.

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Topics:
#West Bromwich Albion
#Fulham
#Manchester City
#James Milner
#Carlos Tevez
#League Cup
#Premier League
#Kolo Toure
#Nigel De Jong
#Mario Balotelli
#Owen Hargreaves
#Birmingham
#Adam Johnson
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