Chelsea v Birmingham City: Match preview


Chelsea v Birmingham City

FA Cup Fifth Round

Stamford Bridge

Saturday, February 18. Kick-off: 1230


Chelsea captain John Terry is still recovering from a knee injury and is likely to miss out against Birmingham, while Ashley Cole faces a late fitness test.

Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou are back from African Cup of Nations duty, but will not feature for Chelsea. Ramires returns after three weeks out of action.

Birmingham are without strikers Nikola Zigic and Marlon King for the visit to Stamford Bridge.

Guirane N'Daw, who has a hamstring strain, is also unavailable for Chris Hughton.


Cech sees FA Cup opportunity

Petr Cech hopes the FA Cup encounter with Birmingham this weekend will allow Chelsea to move on from their poor Premier League form of late.

The Blues lost 2-0 against Everton at Goodison Park in their last outing, in what has been described as the worst Chelsea performance during the tenure of Andre Villas-Boas.

But things could look far more rosy for Chelsea come tomorrow afternoon, with a win over Birmingham booking a spot in the quarter-final of the FA Cup.

And Cech hopes Villas-Boas' side come out on top against their Championship opposition.

"You can see everybody is willing to change the situation we are in," the Chelsea goalkeeper told

"The FA Cup is a perfect occasion to bounce back after the defeat at Everton where we didn't play well," acknowledged the 29-year-old.

"It's a different competition, a different pressure and atmosphere in the cup games, so it is the perfect time.

"I really like playing in the FA Cup, at Stamford Bridge you have more away supporters so the fans sing more at each other, it makes it special and you know you have to get it right on the day, otherwise you have failed.

"We've won it a few times and we know how sweet it is. The memories are always great and this is the oldest competition in the football world, so it is so prestigious and always great to be involved."

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