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Carling Cup preview: West Ham v Birmingham

West Ham take on Birmingham tonight in the first of the Carling Cup semi-finals.

Scott Parker, Matthew Upson, Carlton Cole and Frederic Piquionne are expected to start the first leg tie for the Hammers, with all four having either not played or not started the weekend’s FA Cup victory over Barnsley.

Birmingham rested seven first team players for their FA Cup win against Millwall and could again make changes for their second trip to London in four days.

The Blues have won 38 of the team’s previous meetings, with West Ham tasting success on 31 occasions alongside 20 draws.

Bet365 make West Ham the 6/5 favourites for the match with Birmingham offered at 12/5. The draw is available at 9/4.

The first leg of the second semi-final takes place on Wednesday night as Premier League Arsenal travel to Championship side Ipswich in what will be Paul Jewell’s first game in charge of the Tractor Boys.
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