Manchester City v Birmingham City – BBC News

Manchester City v Birmingham City – BBC News

Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero has made substitute appearances in November, December and January without starting
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Sergio Aguero is set to make his first Manchester City start since October in Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie with Championship Birmingham City after recovering from a knee problem.

Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker could feature after recovering from Covid, but it may be too soon for Ederson.

Birmingham defenders Marc Roberts (ankle) and Kristian Pedersen (knee) could play after returning to training.

Forward Caolan Boyd-Munce and keeper Zach Jeacock both remain injured.

The game – which kicks off at 13:30 GMT – is live on the BBC Sport website and iPlayer.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: “Yesterday he [Aguero] trained really well, today [Friday] he was off. Tomorrow if he feels good he is going to play.

“Sergio, he’s unique, but he’s had a tough injury, really tough. The important thing is his mood is exceptional, better than ever.

“He is an important part of the group, he is incredibly loved, and the important thing is that in the last 10 days or two weeks, his knee’s reaction was really good after the training.

“He’s going to start and the minutes [to be played] his performance or knee will dictate. If he can play 90 minutes it will be great, or 60 or 30 minutes will be great.”

Birmingham boss Aitor Karanka: “I think it is a nice game to play. I hope that everybody likes to play these sorts of games against one of the best teams, not just in the Premier League but in Europe and the world.

“If we are organised and committed on the pitch, we are going to have our chances to score goals. We have to go there thinking we can compete and let’s see what happens.”

Match stats

  • This is the first FA Cup meeting between Man City and Birmingham since a third-round tie in January 2001, Man City winning 3-2 at Maine Road.
  • Birmingham are winless in their last 12 away games against Man City in all competitions (D2 L10), with this their first visit since a League Cup tie in September 2011 (0-2).
  • Man City last failed to reach the FA Cup fourth round in the 2011-12 campaign, losing at home to Man Utd at this stage in that season. The Citizens have won their last five third round ties by an aggregate score of 23-2.
  • Since beating Wolves 1-0 in 2011-12, Birmingham have been eliminated from their last seven FA Cup ties against Premier League opposition.

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