Returnees boost Blues ahead of Muamba`s return

Posted Saturday, September 26, 2009 by PA

Birmingham will be boosted by the return of four players after injury for the home Barclays Premier League clash with Bolton.

Sebastian Larsson, Stephen Carr, Gregory Vignal and Lee Carsley are all available again.

In addition, Teemu Tainio returns after being ineligible for the midweek Carling Cup clash with Sunderland.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has to decide whether to pair Christian Benitez and Garry O'Connor up front after they impressed in the second half at Hull last weekend.

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish is hoping prospective new owner Carson Yeung can take the club to "another level" as his takeover moves ever closer.

Yeung has now acquired more than 81% of City's shares and on Friday the Premier League gave their approval to the proposed buy-out of the midlands outfit.

The current regime of co-owner David Sullivan and managing director Karren Brady will oversee their last home game when Blues face the Trotters.

But McLeish is now looking forward to meeting up with Hong Kong businessman Yeung and his advisors after the weekend.

McLeish said: "It looks pretty certain that we will be looking forward to a new era now. There is a buzz about the place and the fans are anticipating another step forward.

"I don't know a lot about things yet but that makes it a bit more exciting and I don't have any fear or anything like that.

"This is something I have a great anticipation for and I am waiting for it to happen.

"I'm looking forward to working for the new owners and let's hope we can take the club forward.

"I don't think there is any problem now with me picking up the phone and speaking to Carson's people and, as soon as we set up a meeting, that will be excellent."

Bolton midfielder Sean Davis could miss the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery.

Davis suffered an articular cartilage injury to his right knee during the 3-2 home defeat against Liverpool on August 29.

Manager Gary Megson has no other fresh concerns as his side seek to record their second Premier League victory of the campaign at St Andrew`s.

Midfielder Fabrice Muamba is set to return to his former club.

The England Under-21 international has quietly but effectively carved out a successful position as the defensive lynchpin in Megson's side since his #5million move from Birmingham in June last year.

Last season he successfully shackled England's goalscoring midfielders Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard and only last month marked the Liverpool captain out the game until Davis' 54th-minute sending-off swung the balance in the Reds' favour.

And ahead of his first return to Birmingham he intends to continue playing exactly the way he has all season.

"This will be my first time back at Birmingham and I'm looking forward to it, seeing the boys I used to play with," added Muamba, who is also preparing to start the third year of his accountancy degree in November.

"I never had any problem with anyone over there - the manager, chairman, or Karren (Brady, managing director).

"I enjoyed my time while I was there but this is a different chapter in my life.

"Saturday is the most important thing now, we have to take the West Ham game on and try to get some points.

"Hopefully I can go out there and show what I can do. I am playing around people who have been and done it in the game at Bolton, whereas while I was at Birmingham the squad was less experienced.

"That is the biggest difference; the gaffer (Megson) has taught me quite a lot while I've been here.

"This is a great club. Everything about this club is very professional from top to bottom, there's no Mickey Mouse stuff here - it is all proper stuff.

"It has been a good two years. I can't complain because I'm playing and the gaffer believes in me and I'm enjoying it."




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