Elano set for Birmingham start

Last updated : 20 October 2007 By Ben Collins
Elano has become the Blues' new fans favourite after thrilling performances in the 3-1 wins against Newcastle and Middlesbrough.

But there were fears he'd be unable to have a shot at continuing his fine run of form against Brum after travelling to South America for the start of Brazil's 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The playmaker only rejoined the City squad on Friday morning but should be fit having not featured in Brazil's 0-0 draw against Colombia before coming on as a late substitute against Ecuador.

Yet despite only coming on for 15 minutes, Elano kept his scoring run going by claiming the fourth goal in Brazil's 5-0 win.

Martin Petrov was also a doubt after picking up an injury playing for Bulgaria but the winger has been passed fit for the Blues as they aim to maintain their 100% home record.

Although Andreas Isaksson made some fine saves in Sweden's 1-1 draw against Northern Ireland, Joe Hart is expected to keep his place in the City goal. Hart and Nedum Onuoha helped England's U21s keep a clean sheet in their 3-0 away win against the Republic of Ireland.

Richard Dunne helped the Republic's senior team earn a 0-0 draw against Germany at the weekend but was suspended for their disappointing 1-1 draw against Cyprus in midweek.

The City skipper will continue alongside Micah Richards, who recovered from a blow to the head early in England's 3-0 win over Estonia to feature in the crucial 2-1 defeat in Russia.