There is no doubt that just one of these teams is under pressure ahead of this game, with Chelsea aiming to at least get their hands on at least one trophy this term. Birmingham on the other hand have absolutely nothing to lose, with some fans probably viewing the FA Cup as a distraction as they aim to make an immediate return to the Premiership following relegation last term.
Despite shelling out millions of pounds in compensation, wages and more to appoint Andre Villas-Boas during the summer, his arrival has hardly sparked a new revolution at Chelsea. Instead, the Stamford Bridge outfit are still faced with the same problems as last term and with the club placed 5th in the league, they are most definitely out of the title race. In terms of recent form, the Blues have been poor and approach this game having not won in their last three games. Having only won one game in their last five as well, it would be fair to say that form is not on their side at the moment and supporters will be hoping their side can at least extract some confidence from this fixture.
Birmingham in contrast are in fantastic form at the moment, with the Blues making a real charge towards the automatic promotion places of the Championship. Having accumulated 51 points so far, Chris Hughton’s men are just five points behind 2nd place and they also boast a game in hand. The St Andrews outfit possess some of the best form in the country at the moment, having not lost in their last thirteen games. Furthermore, their supporters will be cursing the fact that this game is not being played at St Andrews, with the Blues the only side in their division yet to lose a home game.
Chelsea approach this fixture with plenty of injury concerns as John Terry, Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Ashley Cole all prepare to sit on the side-lines. Andre Villas-Boas only has one piece of good news, with Ramires poised to return after missing recent matches. Birmingham meanwhile will once again be without Nikola Zigic and Marlon King, with the duo continuing to sit on the treatment table following recent injury struggles. Furthermore, Chris Hughton will also not be able to call upon Guirane N’Daw as a hamstring issue prevents the Senegalese midfielder from featuring.
Had this fixture been played at St Andrews, we think there would have been a strong case for Birmingham to record a victory. However, despite the differences in form between these two sides, there is no doubt that Chelsea possess the better squad on paper and with Andre Villas-Boas’ men also holding the home advantage, our tip will be a 3-0 win for the Blues.