Premier League

Sergio Aguero set to return to starting line-up against Birmingham

Sergio Aguero is set to start for the first time since October when Manchester City host Birmingham in the FA Cup third round on Sunday as he steps up his return from knee trouble.

Fellow striker Gabriel Jesus and right-back Kyle Walker could feature after returning to training this week, and being unused substitutes against Manchester United on Wednesday, following positive Covid-19 tests.

Goalkeeper Ederson, winger Ferran Torres and midfielder Tommy Doyle are the next players due to return but they must first test negative and playing in the game may be unrealistic. Third-choice goalkeeper Scott Carson, defender Eric Garcia and midfielder Cole Palmer are still isolating while centre-backs Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake are doubts with muscle problems.

Defenders Marc Roberts (ankle) and Kristian Pedersen (knee) could feature for Birmingham at the Etihad Stadium having returned to training.

The game will come too soon for midfielders Gary Gardner and Alen Halilovic.

Forward Caolan Boyd-Munce and goalkeeper Zach Jeacock also both remain on the sidelines.

Manchester City provisional squad: Steffen, Trafford, Walker, Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Harwood-Bellis, Mbete, Zinchenko, Mendy, Gundogan, Rodri, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Foden, Sterling, Mahrez, Aguero, Jesus, Nmecha, Delap.

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