Blues stretched for tough opener
Defenders Liam Ridgewell, Martin Taylor, Scott Dann, Giovanny Espinoza and David Murphy are all unavailable. Midfielder Lee Bowyer is suspended while striker Marcus Bent is sidelined by a hamstring problem. But new signings Joe Hart, Roger Johnson, Gregory Vignal and Barry Ferguson will all make their debuts. Fellow new boy, striker Christian Benitez, could be on the bench as he continues his recovery from shoulder surgery. Kick-off at Old Trafford is at 1.30pm. Birmingham (from): Hart, Taylor, Carr, Roger Johnson, Queudrue, Vignal, Parnaby, Larsson, Carsley, Ferguson, McSheffrey, Damien Johnson, Fahey, McFadden, Jerome, O'Connor, Phillips, Benitez, Sammons, Wilson.
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