Roberto Mancini had the audacity to complain about having no players following his team’s 2-2 draw at Fulham which saw Manchester City take their foot off the gas and relinquish a two-goal lead at Craven Cottage.
Most teams would love to have such a bulging squad at their disposal and the Italian will give the star players a night off on Wednesday as they face the Carling Cup holders at Eastlands. Unsurprisingly, the bookies have the Citizens as strong favourites at odds of 1/4 (Ladbrokes – £50 free bets).
Carlos Tevez was unhappy about the fact that Manchester United only started with him in the Carling Cup and he may have the same complaint at City, although the Argentine is hot favourite (10/3 – bet365 £200 free betting) to open the scoring, with Mario Balotelli also likely to get some game time against the Blues.
Kolo Toure should also make his first appearance for the club since failing a drugs test, while Birmingham manager Chris Hughton doesn’t have the luxury of completely rotating his squad despite being involved in the Europa League as well as the Championship.
The visitors can be backed at 11/1 to claim a surprise victory and continue their defence of a trophy that was lifted by beating Arsenal in last season’s final, although it is possible that they could be outclassed considering that Man City have two great players for every position at Eastlands.
City are 11/10 to win to nil (Sky Bet) and a 3-0 win for the home side looks the ticket at 7/1.