Birmingham v Braga: Match preview

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Birmingham v Braga;
Europa League;
St Andrews;
Thurs, 15th Sep; 2005 KO

Team news

Marlon King is set to make his return for Birmingham after recovering from a knee injury. Nikola Zigic is out of contention after suffering a groin problem, and Keith Fahey and Jordon Mutch are also not involved. Morgaro Gomis is in doubt with a groin problem as well.

For Braga, Nuno Andre Coelho is out for the long-term after undergoing knee surgery, while Ze Luis, a record signing for the club in the summer window, has a broken foot. Greek stars Douglao and Carlao both look set to step in and make their debuts for the club.

Hughton insists Europa not a hinderance

Chris Hughton has argued that the excitement of the Europa League has made Birmingham players stronger this season, and the manager is not worried about the tough schedule coming into play as the side aim to return to the Barclays Premier League.

Birmingham are facing a difficult schedule over the next couple of weeks, with the club playing four games over the next nine days, including a Carling Cup match-up against Manchester City.

And while Hughton is having to shuffle the squad to keep every player fit and avoid injuries, he insists that playing in Europe is a positive experience for the team.


"If you looked at the atmosphere and what the players gave in the home [qualifying] game with Nacional to get us to this stage, I don't think you would have seen it as a hindrance then," said Hughton.

"Could we do without the extra games? Yes, arguably we could do, but we're here, and once you're in these games they are exciting to play in."

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