Manchester City v Birmingham City
Carling Cup Third Round
Wednesday, September 21st: 19:45
Live Team Sheet
Manchester City: PANTILIMON, ONUOHA, KOLO, SAVIC, KOLAROV, RAZAK, HARGREAVES, BRIDGE, ZABALETA, TEVEZ, BALOTELLI.
Subs: TAYLOR, REKIK, MILNER, CLICHY, SUAREZ, AGUERO, SCAPUZZI
Mancini not afraid to experiment
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is preparing to field a weakened side against Birmingham City in the Carling Cup, but admits he doesn't want a repeat of last season's third round exit.
City were beaten by West Bromwich Albion at this stage last season, and face another midlands outfit, in Birmingham this time round hoping to make amends for their defeat last term.
In winning the FA Cup, Mancini men displayed all the attributes to be successful in knock-out competition, keeping five clean sheets on their way to winning the trophy against Stoke City.
"I think I will change many players because I think we need to recover and rest some players," he said.
"I will change seven or eight players. But we need to think about the Carling Cup because we want to win the next game.
"Last year against West Bromwich, we had a chance, but we lost so it's important that we play well. Maybe some young players could be on the bench if the others don't play.
"It's a busy season for all the top teams and it's a busy season for us."
Carling Cup holders Birmingham have a similar motive for fielding a weakened team at the Etihad Stadium, with their Europa League commitments congesting their already busy schedule.
With seven point from six games, The Blues' priorities are clear to see, but manager Chris Hughton isn't going to City looking to defend.
"What you have to do is, in whichever way, be a threat yourself," he said. "You have to keep possession at the right times and you have to be able to take the sting out of the game at the right times.
"They are all tough asks, but the other option is that if you sit back for 90 minutes there's only one scoreline at the end of it."
“I don’t think making progress in any competition can be a bad thing," he added.
"There are different ways it can go: It can build a momentum in a team, it may not.
"But I don’t think it can ever be bad. This club are the holders of this trophy and in years to come, in history, it is something those involved and those at the club can look back on with pride."