Birmingham City v Chelsea: Match preview

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Birmingham City v Chelsea

FA Cup fifth round replay

St Andrew's

Tuesday, March 6. Kick-off: 1945


Stephen Carr, Steven Caldwell, David Murphy and Keith Fahey are all injured for Birmingham, while Curtis Davies is also a doubt for Chris Hughton.

Peter Ramage and Erik Huseklepp are cup-tied and Caleb Folan is ineligible.

Roberto di Matteo's takes charge of Chelsea following the departure of Andre Villas-Boas, and may be without Ashley Cole at St Andrew's.

The Blues left-back hobbled of in the weekend defeat to West Brom, and will face a late fitness test.

Jose Bosingwa, Ross Turnbull, and Chelsea skipper are all definitely unavailable.


Di Matteo aware of Birmingham threat


New Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo realises his side will face a stern examination against Birmingham on Tuesday night during his first match at the helm.

Di Matteo has been placed in charge for the remainder of the season following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas on Sunday, and will lead Chelsea at St Andrew's as they battle for place in the last eight of the FA Cup.

The two sides shared the spoils at Stamford Bridge last month, with the encounter in west London ending in a 1-1 draw.

Di Matteo, then, is well aware of the threat Birmingham can pose, and hopes to emerge victorious against Chris Hughton's Championship outfit.

"Birmingham is a tough opponent. They defend very well and they don't give you much space," he told

"I know how Championship football is and it is going to be a hard fight with lots of long balls to deal with.

"We have seen how difficult they are to beat because we have already played them at Stamford Bridge. We will have to be ready for that.

"Our duty now is to look forward and to try to get the results that we need in the league, the Champions League and in the FA Cup to have a good season."

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