Chelsea host Birmingham City in the Premier League tonight having slipped to third in the league, albeit with a game in hand over Arsenal and two over the leaders Manchester United.
Chelsea cruised past Preston North End in the FA Cup on the weekend and in their previous league match, defeated Sunderland 7-2. Birmingham won 2-1 at Goodison Park to knock Everton out and in their last league game, they drew 1-1 with Manchester United.
Chelsea will be missing Juliano Belletti and possibly Frank Lampard as well as the still missing African contingent. Birmingham City have defender Craig Gardner available after his recent signing.
These two sides played out a 0-0 draw in their previous meeting at St. Andrews on Boxing Day, a match which saw an inspired performance from Birmingham goalkeeper Joe Hart prevent a big Chelsea win.
Chelsea have scored 14 goals in their last six matches, sans Didier Drogba, whislt Birmingham are on a club record run of 12 matches undefeated in the league. Interestingly, they are also the only team to keep Chelsea from scoring all season.
Chelsea last hosted Birmingham back in August 2007, a match which saw Chelsea twice come from behind to secure a 3-2 victory. Mikael Forssell was one of the Birmingham scorers that day, whilst the long forgotten Claudio Pizzarro scored for the home side.
Ladbrokes has Chelsea a very short priced favourite at 1/4 for this fixture, whilst the draw is paying a reasonable handsome 9/2. A Birmingham victory is justifiably paying a juicy 11/1.
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