League Cup Preview: Birmingham City v Stoke City
By Football News
Stoke City and Birmingham City will fight it out for a place in the League Cup quarter-finals when they face each other on Tuesday.
The hosts will meet a Premier League side at St. Andrew's for the second round in a row and will take confidence, having eliminated holders Swansea City last time out.
The Welsh side may have included the likes of Jonathan de Guzman, Jonjo Shelvey and Wilfried Bony, but second-half goals from Dan Burn, Matthew Green and Tom Adeyemi secured a 3-1 win.
Birmingham's League Cup campaign began on August 6 as they beat Plymouth Argyle 3-2 after extra-time, before a controversial penalty-shootout victory at Yeovil Town after drawing 3-3.
Stoke's passage to the fourth round has been straightforward. After pushing Walsall aside with a 3-1 home win, they triumphed 2-0 at fellow League One side Tranmere Rovers.
Birmingham have lost only four of their last 15 meetings with Stoke in all competitions, but recent history suggests it will not be a goal-laden tie.
Six of their last seven meetings have not included more than one goal, with two of them ending in 0-0 draws.
Stoke warmed up for the tie with a trip to Manchester United on Saturday and, despite taking the lead twice at Old Trafford, Mark Hughes' men ultimately lost 3-2.
Meanwhile, Birmingham travelled to Derby County and picked up a 1-1 draw, keeping them just two points above the Championship's bottom three.
Stoke have few injuries to contend with ahead of the match, but Marko Arnautovic may be a doubt after being forced off in the defeat to United with an illness.
The hosts also do not have many fitness problems which will affect selection as Neil Eardley (knee) looks to be the only player to definitely miss out, while on-loan United midfielder Jesse Lingard (knee) is a doubt.