So after so many games unchanged the team was finally changed on Wednesday and we lost. Christian Benitez is back in the squad and there may be recalls for McFadden and Larsson.
Derby are likely to be unchanged from the side that beat Newcastle in midweek.
Our last meeting was just over a year ago and ended 1-0 to Blues with a goal by Lee Carsley. The last meeting at Pride Park ended 1-1 with Blues conceding an 87th minute equaliser which cancelled out Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (Remember him) first half goal.
Blues form had dipped from the high standards of November and December but we still have only lost two of the last ten.
Unfortunately Derby have just started to find a bit of form and have only lost one of their last seven games. In their last two home league games they have beaten Notts Forest and Newcastle so seem to have developed a taste for knocking down high flying teams.
Right I’m going to start by saying that I’m not going to mention a certain midfielder who used to play for us as he doesn’t deserve the attention.
This will be Blues first fifth round tie since 2006 when we made it as far as the quarter finals before being walloped 7-0 by Liverpool. When the draw was made a lot of us were saying that this was not a difficult draw because of Derby’s poor form in the Championship but typically they seem to have stepped things up since then. This will be a tricky tie and I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes to a replay. As always with the cup it will depend how high up the priority list it is but I would expect both sides to go all out to win this one.
I can sense a bit of cup fever creeping in especially as a lot of big teams are already out. A win today and a good draw in the next round could see us in the semi-finals for the first time in over thirty years. However I am in the one game at a time camp and we shouldn’t get carried away. Having Benitez back will help as while he does not score enough goals he does cause problems that creates space for others. If he’s only fit enough for the bench then I would play McFadden up front alongside Jerome. Maybe Barry Ferguson can keep up his record of scoring in every round.
I still think it will be difficult and we may have to rely on winning a replay to get through. My prediction 1-1.
I couldn’t get a ticket as they would only sell them at the ground which was a problem for me as I was in my office in London on the day they went on general sale. So anyone who is going can they boo Robbie Savage for me..Damn mentioned him!