Birmingham without key players for FA Cup clash

Chris Hughton watches his Birmingham team play football
Chris Hughton will be without several first team players tonight Photo: PA

Birmingham will be without a number of first team players this evening when they host Chelsea at St Andrews.

Defenders Stephen Carr (knee), Steve Caldwell (ribs) and David Murphy (hip) are out, Peter Ramage is cup-tied while Curtis Davies is doubtful through illness.

Pablo Ibanez is the only fit centre-half.In addition midfielders Andros Townsend (cup tied) and Keith Fahey (groin) are unavailable.

Strikers Erik Huseklepp (cup tied) and Caleb Folan (ineligible) also cannot face Chelsea.

A David Murphy goal and a fantastic performance by goalkeeper Colin Doyle at Stamford Bridge last month earned Chris Hughton's side a fifth round replay.

Chris Hughton and Andres Villas Boas on touchline at Chelsea
Hughton, who was sacked by Newcastle, sympathises with AVB Credit: ITV Sport

Since then it has been all change at the former Premier League champions. Andres Villas Boas was sacked following Saturday's defeat at West Bromwich Albion.

The 1-1 draw with Birmingham no doubt contributed to his downfall, but Hughton feels he should have had more time. "Andre would have wanted not only to have done a job, but have done it well and establish himself," he said.

"At this stage, his managerial career has taken a real backward step because of what's happened. It's very much up to him to resurrect that.

"He's young enough, he's certainly got the credentials. He wouldn't have got as big as job as he did without having pedigree."

Former West Brom manager Roberto Di Matteo and assistant Eddie Newton will take charge of Chelsea until the end of the season.

Hughton was sacked at Newcastle after a 3-1 defeat by West Brom who were then managed by Di Matteo.