After the Carling Cup triumph, Birmingham’s focus has quickly shifted to Premier League survival, but Alex McLeish’s side will first have to contend with an FA cup clash against Bolton Wanderers. Birmingham have a number of injury concerns with Carr, Ridgewell, Bowyer, Bentley, Fahey, Zigic and Gardner all injury doubts, whilst Hleb, Dann and McFadden have definitely been ruled out. There have been rumours that Birmingham might field a weakened side, although I think if this happens it would be more as a response to the injury situation.
Bolton themselves have progressed well this season under Owen Coyle and are secure enough in the Premiership. Head to head and Bolton are unbeaten in the last 4 meetings in the Premier League, winning 3 and have not conceded a goal so far in the FA cup. With more pressing concerns for Birmingham, Bolton should come away with a positive result.
Bolton 0AH (Asian Handicap) @1.775
Manchester City have a mountain to climb in the Europa League after a 2-0 loss in Kiev, leaving the FA Cup as the only real chance of silverware this term. Manchester City will be in front of their home crowd at Eastlands and at least on paper have the easiest draw with Reading; the only club outside of the Premiership left in the competition.
The enigma Mario Balotelli is a doubt, which might actually benefit Roberto Mancini’s side at the moment and Manchester City’s squad is sufficient enough to get over the exertions on Thursday. Tevez is expected to start and the Argentine forward will be a thorn in Reading’s side all afternoon. In Manchester City’s last 5 games at home they have been leading at half time and have won at full time and this is the best of the markets on this match.
Manchester City Half Time/Full Time @1.95