Carling Cup Final Preview
The long wait for some silverware for the Birmingham City trophy cabinet could be over very soon. All Blues have to do is beat Arsenal in the Carling Cup.
It's possible...Is'nt it?
Alex McLeish: "The fans have gone a long time without silverware and we will try to make those fans proud on Sunday."
Arsene Wenger: "What is important is not what happened in the last five years, but what we can do now,"
Birmingham City Team News:
Alexander Hleb is a bit of a worry for Birmingham City.
Blues are keeping a close eye on the former Arsenal player after he suffered a knee injury during the game with Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup last weekend.
Hleb was assessed as having severe bruising after having a scan and now it will be touch and go as to whether he is fit enough to play a part in the game against his old side.
Defender Martin Jiranek missed the game against the Owls with a thigh injury, but he is back and ready for action along with striker Cameron Jerome who suffered an ankle injury in the same game.
David Bentley and Curtis Davies are cup-tied.
Player to watch: Nikola Zigic
He can scare Arsenal when in the box.
Arsenal Team News:
Cesc Fabregas is ruled out with injury for Arsenal, along with England winger Theo Walcott.
Dutch striker Robin van Persie will return from injury and is likely to captain the Gunners, while Laurent Koscielny and Abou Diaby are also likely to return.
Player to watch: Robin van Persie
Always likely to get that shot in on goal, even when closely marked.
Match Facts & Stats
The Gunners have scored 13 times and conceded twice in their five League Cup games this season.
Arsenal have lost four of their previous six League Cup finals.
Arsene Wenger has taken charge of eight major cup finals as Arsenal manager, winning four. He has lost the last two (against Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League final and Chelsea in the 2007 Carling Cup final).
Blues have not kept a single clean sheet in their last nine League Cup matches, conceding a total of 13 goals.
Six of the eight Premier League goals Blues have scored against Arsenal have come via set-pieces. Opta stats show they have scored the highest proportion of Premier League goals from dead-ball situations this term (56%), while Arsenal have conceded the most (52%).
The last time Blues kept a clean sheet against a side from the same division in a League Cup game away from St Andrew's was in August 1992 (against Exeter).
Extra time Blues win 2-1