No rest for fit Blues stars

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish does not have the option of resting players ahead of tomorrow’s Carling Cup third-round trip to Sunderland with his squad ravaged by injury.

Wide man Sebastian Larsson (hamstring) is a recent addition to the injury list, while full-back Stephen Carr has suffered a recurrence of his thigh problem.

James McFadden (thigh), Cameron Jerome (ankle), Franck Queudrue, Gregory Vignal, Marcus Bent (all hamstring), Martin Taylor (ankle), Lee Carsley (back), Damien Johnson (strain) and David Murphy (knee) all remain unavailable.

Liam Ridgewell is expected to return at left-back having made a quick recovery from a broken leg, while there may be a debut for Giovanny Espinoza.

Team (from): Hart, Taylor, Doyle, Parnaby, Johnson, Ridgewell, Dann, Espinoza, Fahey, Ferguson, Bowyer, Tainio, O’Connor, Phillips, Benitez, McSheffrey, O’Shea, Sammons, Preston.

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