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Micah Richards is in line to make his first appearance since October, while Aleksandar Kolarov, Javi Garcia and Edin Dzeko are also set to be handed rare starts

By Paul Clennam

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is risking the wrath of Wigan Athletic's relegation rivals by resting several first-team regulars against Roberto Martinez's side on Wednesday.

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Micah Richards is set to make his first Premier League appearance since last October after recovering from knee surgery and is likely to replace Pablo Zabaleta, one of City's most consistent performers this season, at right-back.

Aleksandar Kolarov has not played under Mancini in over a month but is also in line to start along with Javi Garcia in midfield and Edin Dzeko, who remains City's top scorer in the Premier League with 12 goals despite only starting 13 games, spearheading the attack.

Joe Hart is due to reclaim is place in goal after losing it to Costel Pantilimon for Sunday's FA Cup semi-final victory over Chelsea at Wembley, while City captain Vincent Kompany could be rested and replaced by Kolo Toure.

Mancini is mindful that two testing fixtures against Manchester United and Chelsea inside the space of seven days has taken its toll on his players and that City's squad is in need of some fresh faces in the final stages of the campaign.

Although the City manager will not face any sanctions for making wholesale changes to his side as the Premier League scrapped its rules regarding 'weakened' teams in July 2011, clubs lingering around the relegation zone may feel aggrieved that the Italian is viewing the fixture as an opportunity to rest his key players.

Wigan travel to the Etihad Stadium in 18th place, three points behind Sunderland, Stoke City and Aston Villa but Martinez's side, who beat Millwall in their FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, have two games in hand over their relegation rivals.

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