Chelsea v Birmingham preview
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
|Chelsea 2/7 Draw 7/2 Birmingham 15/2 -|
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Mikael Forssell will be a frustrated spectator as his temporary club Birmingham City pay a visit to Chelsea for the Super Sunday game live on Sky Sports One.
The Finland striker is unavailable to Blues boss Steve Bruce as part of the terms of his loan deal from Chelsea.
Bruce will be forced to re-jig his attack for the trip to the capital as French ace Christophe Dugarry commences a three-match suspension.
David Dunn could be deployed just behind Clinton Morrison in attack although Stern John is another alternative for Bruce.
Midfield workhorse Robbie Savage is back from suspension while the St Andrews club have received mixed news on the injury front.
Stan Lazaridis has boosted Bruce by returning to training ahead of schedule after a groin injury and he is in contention for the clash at Stamford Bridge.
But Jamie Clapham has failed to recover from a hamstring injury while Matthew Upson is still sidelined with an ankle problem.
Chelsea chief Claudio Ranieri has less room for tinkering than on the majority of match days as he is missing several players.
Argentine striker Hernan Crespo is out with a calf injury, meaning Ranieri must decide whether to stick with Adrian Mutu and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in attack or recall Eidur Gudjohnsen following his stunning goal as a substitute against Watford in midweek.
Damien Duff is pressing for his place back in the starting line-up after returning from a dislocated shoulder against Watford. Joe Cole is the likeliest to stand down.
The African Cup of Nations has robbed Chelsea of Geremi's services but a decision has yet to be taken on Nigerian full back Celestine Babayaro.
Long-term absentees Juan Sebastian Veron, Emmanuel Petit and Mario Stanic remain unavailable for selection.
|Attacking|| || |
|Ave Goals per game||1.90||0.95|
|Goals to Shots %||15%||11%|
|Passes|| || |
|Pass Completion %||81%||69%|
|Defending|| || |
|Tackle Success Rate %||74%||69%|
|Ave goals conceded per game||0.81||1.25|
|Discipline|| || |