Birmingham Vs Burnley, Sat 1 May 2010

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Birmingham will be without suspended skipper Stephen Carr for the home Barclays Premier League clash with Burnley.

Carr has been handed a one-game ban by the Football Association after admitting a charge of improper conduct relating to gestures made to Aston Villa fans after last weekend's derby.

Stuart Parnaby, who has been dogged by injury problems this season, looks set to replace the right-back.

Central defender Scott Dann is again side-lined with a calf strain and Liam Ridgewell will again deputise after moving from left-back for the Villa game.

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has challenged his side to protect their eight-month unbeaten home record.

And he believes the Blues fans have played a massive part in transforming St Andrew's into a fortress during the current campaign by recreating the intimidating atmosphere of the Steve Bruce era.

City's only two reversals in front of their own fans this season came against Aston Villa and Bolton in successive matches during September.

Since then they have not tasted defeat in 14 home games and managed to share the spoils with the 'big four' of Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.

McLeish said: "The players can take a lot of pride from being unbeaten at home for so long and that will be our mission for the Burnley game - to win in front of our fans who have been magnificent this season.

"The crowd have been really back to form and regained the reputation they've had over the years of it being a difficult place to come.

"It can be hellish at times. The crowd here can make the opposition apprehensive and give the home players energy, and they have done that this season."

Burnley midfielder Chris McCann could make a surprise return to the squad after a season blighted by knee injuries.

It was feared McCann might miss the remainder of the campaign but he returned for a 45-minute run-out with the reserves.

Manager Brian Laws will monitor McCann's fitness but will be without Clarke Carlisle, who has damaged his ankle.

Ahead of the game, Steven Fletcher admits he is in no hurry to leave Burnley even though the club are returning to the second tier after one season in the Barclays Premier League.

However the Scotland striker, who arrived from Hibernian in the summer, accepts the matter might be out of his hands.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle, who brought Fletcher to Turf Moor, has been linked with a move for the 23-year-old in the summer.

Speaking ahead of the match against Birmingham, Fletcher said: "If the club want to sell me, they want to sell me. But I am happy to stay on. I have three years left on my contract.

"We have always been a close team. I noticed that as soon as I arrived. We can only get stronger as we go on.

"Everyone is a bit downhearted as we wanted to stay in the league.

"We just have to build for next season and hopefully come straight back up. If we can get a few players in and correct our mistakes we have a good chance of doing that."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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