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Birmingham City v Man Utd preview

Manchester United will take on Birmingham City at St. Andrews in the 17:15 kick off on Saturday afternoon looking to keep their string of wins and clean sheets going.

Both United and Birmingham suffered exits midweek in the Carling Cup with United going down 2-0 to Coventry City whilst Birmingham exited the cup with a 3-0 defeat against Blackburn.

Manchester United will be looking for their 5th straight Premiership win and clean sheet since the derby defeat against Manchester City and could go top of the league with a win depending on the result of the West Ham and Arsenal game earlier in the afternoon.

Birmingham are currently in 14th place and have won half as many games as Manchester United but have scored a goal more than the Champions who have failed to hit the back of the net consistently this season.

The back four is expected to be unchanged from the side that faced Chelsea with Van der Sar, Evra, Brown, Vidic and Ferdinand looking for their sixth clean sheet in eight games.

The midfield is likely to be unchanged also with Scholes, Carrick, Ronaldo and Giggs all fit and expected to play although Owen Hargreaves may be back in contention but is more likely to earn a place on the bench.

The options upfront though should be interesting with Sir Alex seeming to prefer Tevez and Rooney but Louis Saha may get an opportunity in what Fergie will probably see as a weaker fixture.

Birmingham though have been hit with the news that Mikael Forssell will be missing from action for three to four weeks after it was discovered that he’ll need surgery for a hernia problem. Steve Bruce has also been hit by the news that Borja Oubina will be missing for the rest of the season with knee ligament damage so will be forced to change his team from the impressive draw at Anfield with Fabrice Muamba or Neil Danns both in contention to make the starting eleven.

In previous season’s we’ve usually seen a little rotation in these kinds of games but after struggling for goals and chances in the early part of the season and with the midweek exit in the Carling Cup, we may see Fergie put out a strong side to get the season back on track instead of ringing the changes.

Man Utd News prediction: Birmingham City 1-2 Manchester United

Birmingham (from): Taylor, Kelly, Djourou, Ridgewell, Queudrue, Larsson, Nafti, Muamba, Danns, Palacios, Kapo, McSheffrey, Jerome, Schmitz, Kingson, Sadler, O’Connor, Parnaby, Johnson.

Man United (from): Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Pique, Evans, Ronaldo, Hargreaves, Scholes, Carrick, Eagles, Anderson, Nani, Giggs, Rooney, Tevez, Saha.

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