Premier League intervenes to settle Manchester City row with Birmingham

• City's trip to St Andrew's put back a day because of FA Cup tie
• Mancini: Fixture congestion could affect Manchester United

Manchester City have been spared having to play two games in the space of 48 hours after a row with Birmingham City that has led to intervention from the Premier League and tested relations between the two.

The Eastlands club made an official complaint after Birmingham rejected their request to move Tuesday week's game at St Andrew's back a day to take into account the FA Cup tie Roberto Mancini's team must play on Sunday week at Notts County.

Birmingham wanted the game to go ahead as planned but their opponents argued that it put them at an unfair disadvantage and the league ruled in their favour, instructing the Midlands club to move the match to the Wednesday.

The dispute was resolved on the day Mancini suggested Manchester United's congested fixture list could help City overhaul the league leaders, with whom they are level on points. United have two games in hand, the first of which is a trip to Blackpool on Tuesday, but Mancini believes it will be difficult for Sir Alex Ferguson's side to juggle so many games in the second half of the season.

"When you're playing every three days there is always a possibility you can lose," he said. "It will be difficult for all the teams playing in the Champions League, when they are playing every three days. We think that it's possible [we can catch United] but we know we must work very hard in the next four months."

Shaun Wright-Phillips and Emmanuel Adebayor, both of whom want to leave City, appear not to figure in Mancini's thinking for tomorrow's game at Aston Villa. The two players were excluded when Mancini spoke to his squad about the match at the club's training ground today.

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