Birmingham vs Chelsea: Team News, Likely Line-ups & Predicted Score
Chelsea take on Championship side Birmingham City at St. Andrews tonight for their FA Cup fifth round replay. Here’s team news, likely line-ups & predicted score
Chelsea take on Championship side Birmingham City at St. Andrews tonight in their FA Cup fifth round replay.
The game will be the Blues first match since Roman Abramovich sacked Andre Villas-Boas on Sunday, with former-Chelsea midfielder Roberto Di Matteo taking up the reigns until the end of the season.
Di Matteo will be hoping for an instant response from the players to get their season back on track following a string of disappointing results.
Birmingham are going to prove to be testing opposition for Chelsea though, as Chris Houghton’s side have lost just once at home so far this season. The victors tonight will book a place in the quarter finals and with it a home tie against Leicester City.
Houghton has a major selection headache tonight with eight players currently unavailable for selection. Stephen Carr, Steve Caldwell, Keith Fahey and David Murphy are all definitely out through injury, while Curtis Davies is a doubt after suffering from illness.
Birmingham also have four players who are cup-tied or ineligible; namely Andros Townsend, Peter Ramage, Erik Huseklepp and Caleb Folan.
Chelsea could be without Ashley Cole for the game after the defender was forced off during Saturday’s defeat at West Brom with an ankle injury. Di Matteo will definitely be without John Terry, Jose Bosingwa and Ross Turnbull.
It’s thought that Di Matteo will take the opportunity to rest some players and give some of his fringe players such as Malouda and Kalou a run-out, while Torres is also set to come in for Drogba.
Despite Birmingham’s excellent home form, they have been decimated by injuries and players being cup-tied for this game. You can never usually predict how players react to a new manager but i think it’s safe to say that the majority of the Chelsea squad will be happy to see the back of AVB. I can see the Premier League side coming through this one, just. Birmingham 0-1 Chelsea
If you fancy a flutter on the game, Betfair have some generous odds available.
What are your thoughts on the game? Let us know in the comments section below…
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