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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Birmingham City v Stoke City Preview

Birmingham City, who beat Arsenal in the final in 2011 and knocked out last years winners, Swansea,in the last round, will be looking to cause another upset tonight when they host Stoke.

The Blues are 19th in the Championship table, just two points above the relegation zone, yet they have scored nine times in their three cup ties this season, and recorded an impressive 3-1 win against Swansea.

Stoke are also just above the relegation zone in the Premiership. As a player, Stoke's manager Mark Hughes won the League Cup with three different clubs - Manchester United, Chelsea and Blackburn but he has yet to reach the final as a manager.

Birmingham will be without Chris Burke and David Murphy will be rested while Jesse Lingard is ineligible to play at the request of his parent club. Jonathan Spector (thigh), Akwasi Asante (hamstring) and Neal Eardley (knee) are all sidelined. 

Stoke's Robert Huth is a doubt due to a swollen ankle he suffered against Manchester United.
Marko Arnautovic has recovered from the illness that forced him off at Old Trafford, but Glenn Whelan and Andy Wilkinson face fitness tests.

The Blues have scored 16 goals in their last five matches in the League Cup, although they've also conceded 10 in that period. They have also won four of their last six League Cup games against Premier League opposition, including that famous 2-1 win over Arsenal in the 2011 final and have won three of their last four home games in all competitions, scoring 12 goals in total.

Stoke have only scored 6 goals in 9 Premiership matches this season, including 2 in their last match when they gave Man Utd a fright, eventually losing 3-2, but Kenwyne Jones has scored four times in his last two League Cup appearances.

On the betting front, Ladbrokes are showing the Blues at 11/4, with Stoke at even money. However if you think one team will scrape through 1-0, you can get 10/1 on it being the Blues and 7/1 for Stoke.

To see the latest odds and the full betting market, go over to Ladbrokes.

We will be keeping you updated with the scores and in play betting odds via Twitter this evening. You can follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/F_Betting

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