In a rematch of their third round FA cup tie, Wolverhampton will play host to Birmingham City in the West Midland’s derby. In their previous meeting, the two teams played a considerably dull game. Wolves manager Mick McCarthy went as far as saying “Those who watched the first game probably won’t come back.” Both sides are competing for the trip to Sheffield United to play in the next round of the cup.
Wolverhampton has made the decision to rest their top scorer Steven Fletcher in preparation for their Sunday Premier league matchup with Aston Villa. With the decision to rest Fletcher, McCarthy has decided to put Kevin Doyle and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake up front, using a 4-4-2 formation. Wolves also have to deal with several injuries as well so Kevin Foley, Matt Jarvis and Roger Johnson will all be resting and not play in the match. Johnson suffered an ankle injury in the two sides last meeting.
Birmingham has their own set of problems as well. Their captain Stephen Carr is on the bench due to a knee problem. Their starting goalkeeper Boaz Myhill is also on the bench as well (but not due to injury, for resting purposes) in addition to Jack Butland.
For the most part, the pressure will be on Wolverhampton. They are at the bottom of the pack in the Premiership and facing relegation. For this reason, Wolves boss McCarthy might be focused more on the premiership troubles then the FA cup (the reason why he rested Fletcher in addition to other players). Birmingham however has stated that they want to go further into the championship, having the experience on winning last year’s Carling Cup.
The match should hopefully prove to be more entertaining than their last meeting. McCarthy has promised that this match will be more exciting than the previous, hopefully he is right.